In the recent past, there has been an increase in extreme weather events across the country. Incidents of cloudburst, heavy rains and avalanches causing damage to life and property have been reported almost routinely.
Jammu and Kashmir in particular receives heavy snowfall in winter and heavy rain in summer which makes it vulnerable to various kinds of natural disasters like cloud bursts, lightning, landslide, flash flood, flood and avalanches.
These weather events carry not only the indelible sign of a surging climate crisis but are also a compelling reminder for the need to have better infrastructure including means of forecast to tackle many of its effects, such as urban flooding, flash floods, avalanches etc.
Although it is difficult to forecast various extreme weather events, technology can be a great help to predict them in advance. For example, doppler radars can be very helpful in predicting them. Nowcasts can be given several hours prior to any such event, experts point out.
In a related development, X-Band Doppler Weather Radar (DWR) has been set up at Banihal Top along the Jammu-Srinagar highway.
The DWR with a range of 100 kilometres is tipped to provide better and improved weather services for timely forecasts, warnings and various weather data, according to an official statement.
Keeping in view the vulnerability due to various kinds of extreme weather, especially in a changing climate scenario, and to provide better and improved weather services for timely forecasts, the IMD had earlier installed two DWRs, one each in Jammu and Srinagar.
The DWRs are tipped to facilitate tourists and tourism industry, safe navigation of aircraft and help to detect severe weather events, especially thunderstorms, heavy showers, hailstorms, heavy snowfall and avalanches.
Studies show atmospheric moisture levels have increased recently, contributing to short, intense spells of rain etc. The relations between warming, rainfall and temperature is complex and variables such as aerosol emissions, particulate matter pollution, agriculture and forestry patterns must be accounted for. However, the broader picture is that extreme events are likely to amplify, making the role of accurate forecasts that are able to warn of such events beforehand even more significant
The climate crisis leads to large-scale human tragedies and destruction of property and as such it is important to have early warning and better weather forecast systems. There is also a need to draw up a sustainable plan to address the climate crisis.