The skies of Mumbai, the country's financial capital, will soon come under the cover of six dedicated weather radars. Besides, the state capital, which now has a network of about 80 rain gauges, is set to get 100 more Automatic Rain Gauges (ARGs). These are part of efforts of the India Meteorological Department (IMD) to develop a model weather forecasting network for an urban setup.
Currently, there are two weather radars scanning the skies of Mumbai and, with the addition of four C-band radars, meteorologists believe it will be the first-of-its-kind radar network installed over a small area in India.
In recent years, Mumbai has been grappling with heavy rainfall and urban flooding during the monsoon, lending urgency to have real-time rainfall and flooding data.
But the challenge for the IMD has been finding land in the mega city to install such a large number of instruments.
Recently, however, the central and western railways, district administration authorities, municipal corporations, colleges and universities have all agreed to provide land to the Met agency to set up the network.
The IMD has inked an MoU with the railways, under which railway land between Bhayandar and Churchgate will be provided to the Met agency to install the rain gauges. Similar talks are currently on with other authorities.