Chennai will soon have a state-of-the-art indigenous weather radar that will help in surveillance and early warning of severe weather events.

The city’s second radar will be installed on the premises of the National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT), Pallikaranai.

The Meteorological Department is gearing up with more additions to strengthen its weather forecasts, ahead of northeast monsoon. The foundation stone for the dual polarised solid state X-Band weather radar was laid on Wednesday.

Officials of the Meteorological Department said the instrument would capture weather events occurring within a radius of 80-100 km in all directions. It would provide detailed information on cloud structures, rainfall intensity and wind variations and help detect cyclonic storms approaching the region.

With the weather radar installed by early November, there would be more spatial coverage of the observation network that would aid in accurate weather predictions.

S. Balachandran, Deputy Director-General of Meteorology, Chennai, said the new radar would help the Department to provide forecasts on urban flooding.

With technical design provided by the Indian Space Research Organisation, it was manufactured by Data Patterns Ltd. under the “Make in India” programme.

The new compact instrument would be able to transmit data at every six minutes. However, the S-band doppler weather radar on Rajaji Salai is functioning. It is being put to limited use due to ageing and would be used to its full capacity during the monsoon, he said.

As a response to increasing demand for various kinds of weather information and a step towards urban meteorology, the department is in the process of adding more automatic rain gauges in the city.

Moreover, high-speed wind recorders are being installed across the State to get uninterrupted data in cyclone-prone coastal areas and provide warnings to specific sectors such as fisheries. One such weather instrument has come up in Cuddalore and more high-speed wind recorders are set to be installed in places such as Kanniyakumari, Pamban and Adiramapattinam before NE monsoon.

The accurate data of wind speed and direction almost every minute would help in tracking cyclones and its potential for damages, Mr. Balachandran added.

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