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Seventh saarc meteorological meet in Thimphu


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BHUTAN: Thunderstorm is one of the major disasters in the south Asian region, and it’s important to minimise its impact through forecast.

Thunderstorm or nor’wester, experts from the South Asian association for regional cooperation (SAARC) region, during a two-day seminar in the capital arrived at this conclusion.  They will also discuss field experiments of SAARC’s storm pilot projects located in each country.  The seminar started yesterday in Thimphu.

This is the seventh SAARC meteorological research centre (SMRC) seminar.

A senior meteorologist from the department of hydro-met services, Tayba Buddha Tamang, said so far manual reading for weather was done, which was not enough to study thunderstorm that occurs during the months of April and May, the pre-monsoon season.

“To better monitor and forecast the day-to-day weather phenomenon, we’ve received 10 automatic weather stations (AWS), which were installed in different parts of the country in June this year,” Tayba Buddha Tamang said.

The program is under pilot project phase that was started since 2009.

“The data from the AWS will be transmitted through the satellite and will update hourly reading and analysis of thunderstorm activities in the country,” Tayba Buddha Tamang said.

The AWS is expected to give a reliable and timely data based on the requirements. “We can collect the data from the AWS and see our current situation.”

The AWSs were installed with the help of SMRC in Bangladesh, and was funded by the Indian space research organisation, he said.

“The data collected through these 10 AWSs has been used by the department and India meteorological department (IMD), and installation of one GPS sonde (an instrument to measure the vertical atmosphere profile) in Bhutan is progressing, which will also help in forecasting everyday weather phenomenon,” Tayba Buddha Tamang said.

The department is planning to install the GPS sonde in the Paro international airport, where the weather patterns and thunderstorm readings will be done twice a day starting from April next year, Tayba Buddha Tamang said.

“It will be a balloon filled with hydrogen gas attached with the GPS sonde, which will take reading from the atmosphere and transmit the data to the ground station,” he said. “The readings will help in regulating the aviation sector and improve the daily weather forecasting as well.”

Thunderstorms are complex phenomena and known to have high impact on our lives and properties.

“However, it’s difficult to predict thunderstorms in a mountainous country like ours with many orographic effects and localised weather patterns, but the short lived thunderstorms, such as cyclone, can be predicted two days prior to its occurrences,” Tayba Buddha Tamang said.

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