Before this, all apps displayed past data and rain observations, but could not give out real-time alerts to the users.
Called “Mausam“, the app is aimed at the urban population and will provide realised weather features and forecasts for upto a week across the listed 450 cities. It will also show radar and satellite images, which were earlier visible only on IMD’s website.
The app will expand its reach next year with hyperlocal maps and options for regional languages, senior officials told ET. By next year, the focus will shift to the farmers, who will get updates every three hours using the user’s GPS location, and will provide forecasts in the language of their choice. “We wanted to start off by including cities, since rural areas will be more complex to map out and there are nearly two dozen languages to address,” said the official.
This indigenous app was in the works since last year, but was delayed due to the coronavirus lockdown. The IMD also offered its services to the government’s Umang app, which includes state and central services and bill payments. However, Umang lacked any immediate updates, which Mausam will now fulfil.
Speaking at the Ministry of Earth Sciences‘ 14th foundation day, MoES union minister Harsh Vardhan also talked about the government having conducted research into rain gauging and cloud seeding over the past two years, using an Earth system model for climate predictions. These experiments will help IMD to assess the monsoon season better, and potentially help areas with less monsoon rainfall by introducing artificial rain-making, said Vardhan.
The government will also open a dedicated 100-acre field observatory in Madhya Pradesh next year to better study such models. Situated 50 kilometres from Bhopal, the centre will contain “atmospheric test beds”, another experimental model. All the data recording and analysis will be automated. “This will lead to better understanding of monsoon clouds and the monsoon season,” Vardhan said.