Met Department Went Overboard With Severe Storm Warning for Delhi

New Delhi: The Met department went overboard when it issued a severe thunderstorm warning that triggered widespread panic in Delhi and NCR on May 8, days after violent storms wreaked havoc in many parts of the country, a top Ministry of Earth Sciences official has said.Following the deadly thunderstorms of May 2-3, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) had issued an alert for May 8 forecasting that parts of north India, including Delhi, could be lashed by a thunderstorm and squall with winds gusting up to 50-70 kilometres an hour. “On that day (May 8), they went overboard. They (IMD) predicted a kind of severe system but that did not happen. That is true,” MoES secretary M Rajeevan told PTI when asked if the department had overreacted.The warning triggered panic across the National Capital Region. The Delhi government ordered the closure of schools anticipating bad weather. However, there was no extreme weather activity as predicted by the Met department. “There was hype create by the people because it (the storm) had caused a lot of damage on May 2 and 3. When they (the IMD) issued the fresh forecast for the remaining days, they thought the same kind of severity will be there. (But) it was not there,” he said.The IMD had come under considerable criticism for its extreme weather warnings.
The top MoES official, however, added the IMD did not goof-up in issuing an alert for the May 2-3 high-intensity thunderstorms which killed over 120 people in Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.
Uttar Pradesh had said it had not received a warning about a severe thunderstorm.The MoES has several crucial institutions such as the IMD and Indian National Centre for Ocean Information System (INCOIS) under it.