IMD forecasts become more user-friendly

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Weather warnings from the India Meteorological Department have now become more user-friendly.

The apex weather agency has revamped its website to give more prominence to warnings of severe weather.

Till now, to access such warnings one had to click on the button for “all India weather forecast”, scroll down to “severe weather warnings” and then read through a longish paragraph, which gave warnings of severe weather in different parts of the country, all at one go.

From Friday, there is no more need to go through such a tedious process. One just has to click a separate button “all India severe weather warnings”. A dialogue box appears where one can choose the region of one’s interest — north-west, west, central, east, north-east, or south India.

Once the region is chosen, a PDF file opens and gives the weather forecast for the current day and the next two days and an outlook for subsequent two days for the different meteorological sub-divisions under the region.

The forecasts and the outlooks are given both in textual form and with a colour coding to ensure that there is absolutely no ambiguity: green for “no warning”, yellow for “be wary”, orange for “be vigilant”, and red for “high alert”.

Speaking to The Hindu, a senior IMD official said that the forecasts would be updated twice a day. However, the frequency would be increased if there was a need. The warning system would cover all types of hazards including cold wave and heat wave conditions.

The revamp comes in the wake of the still unfolding tragedy in Uttarakhand. The IMD had issued warnings about the unusually heavy rains in the State. But, there were complaints that the warnings were not clear enough for necessary follow up action on the ground.

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