EDITORIAL: Use technology

The use of advanced technology in weather forecasting is long overdue and it should be installed in the given time frame

If we are to believe the government the forecasting system is to be upgraded from its obsolete 72-hour based old short-range weather forecasting system to more advanced numeric weather system by 2018.

Weathermen complain that weather forecasting is not being given the priority that it rightly deserves. Nepal and Bhutan are the only countries that still use short-range weather prediction as they lack the advanced   technology.

The Department of Hydrology and Meteorology is intent on installing weather radars and rasdiosonde balloons as so soon as possible and this process has already begun in Kritipur where one out of three weather radars are planned to be installed.

The other two radars would be set up in Udayapur and Palpa. This is being done to make weather predication 100 per cent accurate although such predictions are not flawless. At least one such radar and radiosonde balloon station would be in place by 2018 or earlier.

These gadgets were donated by India to Nepal in July 2016. It is high time that the government brought the numeric weather forecasting system into use as it has no other choice.

Their installation would bring about drastic change in weather prediction from the currently applied method. The present forecasting system that the country possesses is capable of predicting weather up to three days.

Long-range systems are able to predict weather for up to three months, medium ranged ones provide predictions for 10 days and the short-range prediction system are able to predict the weather only for three days in advance.

High Performance Computer Modelling Systems are in use in the advanced countries in Europe, America and China. Nepal should strive to keep up with the advanced technology used to forecast weather.

The weather radar can be used to detect precipitation, calculate their motion and also predict the amount and type of rain, snowfall and hail. Meanwhile, the radiosondes carried by balloons measure, among other things, the pressure, temperature and humidity.

The weather balloons reach altitudes exceeding 115,000 feet providing valuable data for weather forecast. The balloons are filled with hydrogen. By adopting the advanced methods of predicting the weather Nepal would stand to benefit a lot.

The data received could be highly useful for mountaineering, aviation and agriculture sectors. The predictions of the weather would also make the climbers safe. As it is now possible to predict the weather for at least three months, the mountaineers intended to climbing could choose an appropriate time to make their summiting bids.

The predictions would also save many lives in the process. Many climbers lose their lives due to lack of such useful predictions. Other visitors to the country could also plan their trip accordingly to avoid the rainy spell of the weather.

The farmers too would benefit through the modern technology in predicting the weather as they would know well in advance when there would be rain. Therefore, given the immense use that such predictions would provide the concerned should not dilly-dally in jumping to use such technology.

The use of the advanced technology in weather forecasting is long overdue and should be installed in the given time frame.

Right initiative

The Rupa Lake in Kaski district is on the verge of extinction due to human encroachment. A survey conducted in 1978 revealed that the lake covered as much as 135 hectare of land.

However, it has now shrunk to just 107 hectares. Much of the area covered by water has been buried due to landslide or piling up of sedimentation from rivulets emptying into it.

Recently, the council of ministers has decided to revive the lake into its original condition by retrieving land occupied by individuals giving them appropriate compensation.

Another report prepared in 2007 has stated that as much as 800 ropanies of land have been occupied by individuals as farmland. As per the plan, the government will spend Rs. one billion to restore the lake by making a 600-metre long and five-metre high embankment across the lake to store water.

The compensation project will be completed within eight months after the start of construction work.

The lake must be revived in such a way that the local communities may also benefit from the restoration of the once a beautiful lake that used to attract domestic and foreign tourists.