The India Meteorology Department (IMD) plans to launch a mobile weather application “Indian- Weather” on Android smartphones and tablets that can be downloaded from Google Play Store, free of charge. The app will provide the latest weather information and other value added services in four metro cities in real time. In the next 8-10 months, IMD will also include weather bulletins and alerts for significant events, agromet advisories etc to the public on the smartphones and other feature phones.
Although IMD did not disclose as to when the application will be made available in the Play Store, a report by The Hindu claims that the application has been launched on the 138th Foundation Day of India Meteorology Department (IMD), that is, January 15, 2012. We searched on the Google Play Store but couldn’t locate the app. Update: The app is now live at the Play Store.
Apart from that, the Union Minister for science & Technology and Earth Sciences, S.Jaipal Reddy, informed about the improvements in the prediction parameters of IMD, that is, we can expect more accurate weather predictions:
- False Alarm Rate and Missing Rate significant improved by 45% & 30% from their respective mean during 2002-2010.
- Probability of Detection increased from 0.4 in 2004 to 0.70 in 2012.
- Critical Success Index (CSI) increased from 0.3 to in 2004 to 0.60 in 2012.
- The Error in landfall point of Tropical Cyclones has decreased at a rate of 7 km per year over last 10 years.
- Installation of Doppler Weather Radars has enabled the country to provide Nowcasts for severe weather phenomena of Thunderstorms.
Reddy also informed that Agromet Advisory services provided through SMS is used by more than 33 lakh farmers. The report also talks about special weather services such as Kumbh Mela, Commonwealth Games, and ICC Cricket World Cup, among others. Apart from that, IMD also claims that they have increased their outreach with their online presence Facebook, website, emails, and also through SMS. We checked their Facebook page, but it does not show any activity since November 2012.
Other weather related services: Bharti Airtel had partnered with Handygo, a mobile VAS company to launch Behtar Zindagi, a mobile based service which leverages interactive voice response (IVR) to communicate information such as weather updates, mandi rates. TCS has also developed MKrishi, a mobile based service delivery platform that aimed to provide farmers with information on their produce, weather, rainfall, etc., via IVR based system and GPRS handsets. IMI Mobile launched a voice based rural information service called Cell Shakti that provides weather information to farmers.