Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Watching the weather on the WWW

Having keenly followed the weather and reported the development and tracks of storms using broadband internet for the past 3yrs (as a part of "STH StormWatch" series, see here, here and here), I can confidently say that today, broadband internet places at the hands of ordinary people an extraordinary tool for checking and understanding  what was earlier the exclusive realm of scientists and meteorologists.
Placed below is how I, an untrained layman (with the help of a few very experienced
meteorologist friends) watch the weather (in my region) :-
a) I start off here which is a new page for Severe Weather warnings which IMetD has inserted into their home page.

b) I then have a look at this page :-

The 'Main Features' page (below) you gives a wealth of information, inclusive of ACTUAL weather which has occurred all over the country and a meteorological analysis. The latter is important because it tells you what is brewing up and where. The page further will give you more details on weather warnings.

c) Next I usually visit the satellite imagery and check out the Kalpana-1 INFRA RED (IR) channel (below)
IR images provide information about the temperature of the clouds. The coldest (therefore the tallest) clouds such as cirrus, cumulonimbus appear white whereas the warmer clouds will appear grey. Though the images are updated every 30mins, processing them takes a little time so the latest images that you see are around 1hr old.
and the visible channel
d) You can get a fairly good idea on the movement of clouds for the past 3hrs from the GIF animations by IMetD here
e) For more specific information on the weather in your region you may like to go to the IMetD Regional Meteorological Centre websites:-
f) Low pressure areas, depressions and cyclones can be tracked at the IMetD site here but I often get updates from
i. US Navy's Joint Typhoon Warning Centre also see here

ii. Pakistan Meteorological Department, IR imagery
Usually, IR images from this site are more current than those from IMD.
iii. Bangladesh Meteorological Department
iv. TRMM
f) Actual rainfall figures are available on an hourly basis from IMD's automatic weather station (AWS) here or from their automatic rainfall gauge stations (ARG) here.

Praful Rao
Dist Darjeeling

No comments: