The Meteorological Department is revamping its existing rain gauges and automatic weather stations and expanding its weather observation network across Tamil Nadu. It plans to accelerate work in the next few weeks for more precise forecasts.

To improve predictions and gather localised weather data, the department has planned to replace some weather instruments and add new rain gauges and weather stations to its network. However, field visits and installations were a challenge during the lockdown period, said Met officials.

At present, the department has 40 automatic weather stations and 75 automatic rain gauges across the State.

The department has received equipment to set up 20 automatic rain gauges (ARGs) and 10 automatic weather stations (AWS) in the first phase. A team of officials plan to visit Puzhal and Chembarambakkam to check the automatic rain gauges.

S. Balachandran, Deputy Director General of Meteorology, Chennai, said: “We are finalising strategic locations to install the AWS and ARGs. We plan to set up more such facilities as we get additional equipment. A denser network covering more places will help us collect additional weather data and issue weather forecasts for a specific region.”

There are plans to upgrade Doppler weather radar in Chennai. At present, the radar scans an atmosphere of about 400-km radius to provide an overview of weather systems.

Moreover, high wind speed recorders would be installed in strategic locations to get high-resolution data. Locations, including Kanniyakumari, were being considered. This would help disseminate information on gusty winds during cyclone landfall.

Forecast for two days

On the forecast for the next two days, Mr. Balachandran said north coastal region and interior areas of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry would get light to moderate rainfall due to wind convergence.

Chennai will have a generally cloudy sky and get thundershowers during evening or night in some areas till Wednesday. There would be a decrease in rains after July 16.

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