Kathmandu, May 21
While almost all countries in the world have applied High Performance Computer Modeling System that gives weather forecasts that are up to hundred per cent accurate, Nepal has been relying on just 24 hours short-range forecasting system for the last 54 years that gives at most 75 per cent of accuracy.
Short-range forecasting systems give up to three days’ weather prediction, but Nepal’s current system, that has been running since 1962 only provides forecasts for the next twenty-four hours.
Retired meteorologist Rajendra Prasad Shrestha, who has thirty-two years of experience in the field, said lack of advanced technology makes Nepal’s forecasts less accurate than is desirable. “Because we don’t have the right technology, Nepal has been dependent on other countries and has been submitting the data it collects to them for forecasts, which causes a delay of three to four hours and leads to less accurate results,” he said.
Another expert Mani Ratna Sakya said Nepal and Bhutan are the only two countries that still use short-range weather prediction systems. “Other countries have been using weather radars and radiosonde balloons to collect real-time and accurate weather forecasting data; it is quite disheartening that despite concerted efforts on our part, we have not been able to update our technology,”he told The Himalayan Times. Shakya added that India, Bangladesh, and other countries fly radiosonde balloons twice a day to collect accurate weather data.
Director General of DHM Risiram Sharma said that they were planning to improve the technology in two years by adding weather radars and radiosonde balloons to the current system. “Our prediction system will soon be more scientific and objective,” he said, adding that the government was preparing to call tenders to set up these systems.
Three types of weather prediction systems are widely used today to predict the weather at both 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.
A version of this article appears in print on May 22, 2006 of The Himalayan Times.