Rajasthan Meteorological department's Doppler radar, which can forecast storms, defunct for several months

IMD on Monday issued an alert forecasting that several parts of north India could witness thunderstorm and squall on Tuesday.

Rajasthan Meteorological department's Doppler radar, which can forecast storms, defunct for several months
A hoarding damaged in May 2, 2018 storm blocks a road near Bharatpur district, Rajasthan (Pic courtesy: PTI)

Jaipur: Rajasthan faced the fury of a massive and destructive sandstorm on May 2 in which at least 27 people lost their lives in Alwar, Bharatpur and Dhaulpur districts while scores were injured. The state meteorological centre in Jaipur had failed to issue an alert as the Doppler radar, which can forecast about a storm, is lying damaged for the past several months.

While there is a warning about another round of sandstorms and thunderstorms in several regions of the state, the Jaipur-headquartered meteorological centre is yet to take any steps to get the Doppler radar, which costs over Rs 9 crore, repaired.

The damaged parts and equipments to repair the Doppler radar have arrived from New Delhi, but it will take another two to three days for the entire work to be completed. Meanwhile, there is a warning about storms hitting the state in the next 48 hours.

Meteorological centre director GS Nagrale said that there was a generic alert about the storms from April 29 but the May 2 freak weather was due to sudden changes in the atmosphere resulting in wind speeds of almost 60km/hour to 100km/hour in many regions of the state. He warned that West Rajasthan will witness sandstorms in the coming days and an alert about the same has been issued.

Nagrale added that there have been changes in the weather pattern resulting in such destructive storms and the temperature rising by an average of 2 degree Celcius. "The probability of such a storm increases if there is a cloud formation at a height of 6 km from the earth's surface," he said.

According to Nagrale, his department has already issued a warning of a severe sandstorm in 10 districts of East Rajasthan for the next 48 hours. He also rubbished reports circulating on social media of more destructive storms hitting the state in the next few days.

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