DHM imports weather equipment from Germany, Slovakia

Kathmandu, July 17

With the aim of making Nepal’s weather prediction reliable, the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology is all set to import weather equipment from Germany and Slovakia.

Radiosonde station related instruments will be brought from Germany and an automatic weather station related

instrument will be brought from Slovakia.

According to DHM, two teams of meteorologists were sent to both countries last week to check and test the equipment. The team of meteorologists Shanti Kandel and Sujan Koirala was sent to Germany and another team of meteorologists comprising Shiva Nepal and Chiranjivi Bhetwal was sent to Slovakia.

Director General of the Department Rishi Ram Sharma said after the report is submitted by both teams, the equipment bringing process will begin. “If the team finds everything perfect after testing the equipment, we will begun the process of bringing the equipment bringing process once both team submit report.” DG Sharma told The Himalayan Times, “DHM has a plan of bring equipment Nepal by one month.”

He said if the weather equipment reaches Nepal by aeroplane, radiosonde station will be operated within a month. “There is a chance that a ship may transport the heavy equipment, which usually takes almost one month.” DG Sharma added, “If so, a few days’ delay may occur otherwise we will have a running radiosonde station by August this year.”

Preparation is under way for flying a balloon from the premises of the weather station in Kirtipur.

According to DHM, once the weather balloon flies from radiosonde station it moves 18 to 20 metres above ground level within half-an-hour. DHM has a plan to fly just one balloon every day due to the fact that it is an expensive process.

“It costs $ 150 to fly a balloon, so at first we will fly one balloon daily from Kirtipur.” DG Sharma added further, “After we begin from Kathmandu, we will extend it to Biratnagar and Surkhet later.”

He said once the station comes into operation, Nepal will have access to data that would make weather forecasting system up to 100 per cent accurate.

While almost all countries in the world have applied High Performance Computer Modeling System that gives weather forecasts that are up to 100 per cent accurate, Nepal has been relying on just 24-hour short-range forecasting system that at best gives 75 per cent accuracy.

Three types of weather prediction systems are widely used to predict weather at both the local and global levels.

Europe, America, Australia, China and most other countries use long-range weather prediction system that employs High Performance Computer Modeling System to collect data.

Long-range systems forecast weather for up to three months. Medium-range prediction systems forecast weather for up to ten days and short-range prediction systems forecast weather for three days.

The radiosonde is attached to a hydrogen-filled balloon, generally called a weather balloon, and the balloon lifts the radiosonde to altitudes exceeding 115,000 feet. During the radiosonde’s ascent, it transmits

data on temperature, atmospheric pressure, and humidity to a sea, air, or land-based receiving station.

As per the cost analysis, hydrogen generator costs around Rs 50 million to 60 million. According to the department, India donated equipment to run the radiosonde station for a year through South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation Storm Project last year.