tte major challenge to coping strategies is the development of well differentiated and sufficiently scaled up operational services supporting preparedness strategies (e.g. Stigter et al. 2007). In India, the National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting has for example developed an AAS in close collaboration with the India Meteorological Department, the Indian Council for Agricultural Research and the State Agricultural Universities. General Circulation Models (T-80 and T-170) constitute the basic tool for preparing location specific forecasts in the medium range, tte model output is subjected to statistical (Perfect Prog. Model) and synoptic interpretation for improving the skill of weather forecasts. In relation to the forecasts currently available, progress is expected by users on enhancing the skill and range of meteorological variables. It would be necessary to obtain information not only on the average values, but also on the extreme values (for example, for rainfall or wind speed) and exceeded threshold values (the case of frost and heat waves). The center is providing agro-climatic zone specific day to day weather forecasts for next 4-5 days twice a week i.e. Tuesday and Friday along with cumulative weekly rainfall, tte weather forecast is made in quantitative terms for rainfall, cloud cover, maximum temperature, minimum temperature, wind speed and direction, ttese zone-specific forecasts are tailored in the light of current weather observations received from the AAS unit in real time, tte forecast is disseminated to the AAS units in real-time using fast communication facilities like Internet/ Telefax etc. IMD is providing support to maintain an observational network of observatories at AAS units.
On receipt of the forecasts at the AAS units, they prepare the medium range weather forecast based agrometeorological advisories in vernacular language in consultation with a panel of experts in various subject matters of agriculture, ttese agro-advisories which are crop specific, weather event specific and farm operation specific are disseminated to farmers through all possible mass media like newspaper, radio, television and also through personal contacts by extension workers, tte advisories are kept as simple as possible both in terms of the language and the terminology keeping in view the literacy level of the local farmers. In addition to the farmers, these bulletins are also provided to authorities of concerned departments like those of agriculture, horticulture, irrigation, soil conservation, animal husbandry etc. to enable them to take necessary measures for effective utilization of the advisories, ttese are examples of what in the literature now more generally is called agrometeorological services (e.g. Stigter et al. 2005b; WMO 2006).
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