Indian Meteorological Department Current Affairs - 2019
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The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has released a bulletin highlighting the important features about the climatic conditions of 2018:
- India’s average mean monthly temperatures were “warmer than the normal” during all the months of the year except December.
- This more than normal mean monthly temperature is attributed to global warming.
- The annual mean surface air temperature averaged over the country in 2018 was +0.41 degree Celsius above (1981-2010 period) average.
- The year 2018 was the sixth warmest year on record since nationwide records commenced in 1901.
The other warmest years on record are 016 (+0.72 degree Celsius), 2009 (+0.56 degree Celsius), 2017 (+0.55 degree Celsius), 2010 (+0.54 degree Celsius) and 2015 (+0.42 degree Celsius), which are all recent years.
- The worrying factor is, 11 out of 15 warmest years were during the recent past 15 years (2004-2018) and overall 2018 was the sixth warmest year on record since nationwide records commenced in 1901.
- India recorded 1,428 deaths in 2018 due to extreme weather events and heavy rains and subsequent flooding, dust storms, thunderstorms and lightning claimed half the lives.
- Cyclones Titli and Gaja killed almost 122 people.
India Meteorological Department (IMD)
India Meteorological Department (IMD) is the chief government agency for meteorological services in the country. Formed in 1875, IMD functions under Ministry of Earth Sciences and is headquartered in New Delhi. It deals with everything related to meteorology, seismology and associated subjects like
- Undertaking meteorological observations and provide current information and forecasting information for most favourable operation of weather-dependent activities such as irrigation, agriculture, aviation, shipping etc.
- Offering warnings against severe weather phenomenon such as tropical cyclones, norwesters, dust storms, heat waves, cold waves, heavy rains, heavy snow, etc.
- Providing met-related statistics needed for agriculture, industries, water resources management, oil exploration, and any other strategically important activities for the country.
- Engaging in research in meteorology and allied subjects.
- Detecting and locating earthquakes and evaluate seismicity in various parts of the country for developmental projects.
From a modest beginning in 1875, IMD has progressively expanded its infrastructure for meteorological observations, forecasting and weather services. IMD was the first organisation in India to adopt a message switching computer to support its global data exchange.
Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued warning of another dust storm and thunderstorm in parts of Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. The satellite images have shown wind pressure developing in two states leading to thunderstorms, gusty winds and heavy rain. It also has forecasted thunderstorm accompanied with squall is also likely at isolated places over Uttarakhand, Sikkim, West Bengal and Odisha. The fresh warning comes after two north Indian states were earlier hit severe dust storm, which took lives of over 100 people and left trail of destruction.
Reasons for formation of rainstorms and duststorms
Rainstorms (thunderstroms) and duststorms arise from similar meteorological conditions. They are almost always preceded and caused by spell of intense heat. Thunderstorms occur when atmosphere has moisture and duststorms take place when moisture is not present. Such events take place due to local instability arising out of deviation from normal temperature difference between upper and lower atmosphere. Thus, these events themselves are very localised both in time and space.
In recent rainstorms and duststorms cases in Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, moist easterly winds from Bay of Bengal reached up to Himachal Pradesh colluded with dry winds from north-westerly direction. The two systems destabilised equilibrium temperature difference between upper and lower layers of atmosphere, leading to conducive conditions for thunderstorm and duststroms. The final trigger, however, is development of largescale air-circulation system. Many parts of India witness build-up of surface heat during this time of year. The places that were hit by recent storms had seen heat-wave like conditions.