Govt to launch flood warning system

Kathmandu, June 24

The Department of Hydrology and Meteorology has begun the test of weather-based flood warning system with an aim to give adequate time to apply safety measures before a flood occurs in downstream and other possible areas.

The department has put the system to test as an initiative to upgrade the country’s 72-hour based old short-range weather forecasting system into an advanced forecasting system through the use of weather radar and radiosonde balloons.

According to the department, after adopting the advanced technology, it would be possible in the country to make weather predictions with up to 100 per cent accuracy as in developed countries. With the system in place, it would be easy to predict flood in a particular region on the basis of the intensity of precipitation.

“The flood warning system will give information about possible flood three days before it gets triggered, “ Director General at the DoHM Rishi Ram Sharma told The Himalayan Times. He, however, said “It would only be possible to have such information provided the weather prediction is accurate.”

He further informed that the new system will make it possible to predict the place, time and quantity of rainfall by observing cloud formation through radar and radiosonde balloons.

“Having ample time before flood will make it easy for us to apply safety measures, such as vacating of flood-risk areas. This will help us prevent possible casualties and losses,” he said. Sharma also said the advanced weather forecast system will be formally launched after the test.

So far, the department  has been collecting flood-related data from its field weather stations spread across the country. There are multiple channels to convey emergency alerts related to flood to these stations. People get a few minutes to hours’ time to move to safe places after receiving such alerts under the existing system.

This year monsoon entered Nepal on June 12, two days later than its normal onset date. Monsoon usually enters Nepal on June 10 and withdraws on September 23, every year. With the onset of monsoon, Nepal has already started witnessing light to heavy rainfalls across the country.

A seasonal outlook earlier issued by South Asian Climate Outlook Forum had predicted above-normal rainfall over large tracts of South Asia during this year’s summer monsoon. Citing the SASCOF report, the MFD said Nepal was most likely to receive normal rainfall during monsoon this year.