Kerala first in country to set up weather observatories in govt schools
In the first such initiative in the country, Kerala is setting up meteorological observatories in government schools. The weather stations will come up in 240 higher secondary schools having geography as a subject of study.
“This is a participatory approach in measuring the climate changes on a regular basis. Students of geography would be given training in reading and understanding the data. The weather stations would record and measure rain, wind and heat,” Dr Supriya AR, State Project Director of Samagra Shiksha Kerala, told The Federal.
Each observatory will have 13 kinds of equipment, including a rain gauge, thermometers for measuring room temperature, apparatus for measuring humidity, a wind vane, a cup counter anemometer to measure the speed of the wind, etc. According to officials, the project will help in decentralising the knowledge on climate change.
The process of establishing weather stations at schools would be completed by the end of July, according to Samagra Shiksha Kerala officials.
IMD to provide support
The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has also agreed to provide technical support to the project. According to officials, this is an innovative attempt to have a better understanding of climate change at the micro-level. The pattern of climate change in Kerala shows varying trends from place to place.
“The data thus gathered would be collated and analysed by experts, which would help us to develop effective warning systems,” says Dr Supriya. She said that this would not only provide practical knowledge to students of geography, but would also help in developing a more accurate and error-free forecast system.
“Climate change has become one of our top priority areas. There is a need to educate the next generation on the same,” she said.
Localised weather patterns
Kerala has been witnessing extremely heavy rain, sea erosion, floods and landslides since 2017. According to experts, the amount of rainfall varies from place to place, indicating highly localised variations in the pattern of climate change.
The long-pending proposal to establish automated weather stations in 100 additional locations by the IMD has not yet taken off.
The existing monitoring system established by the IMD includes 21 automated weather stations, 5 automated rain gauges, 68 manual rain gauges and 2 Doppler radars.
The State Disaster Management Authority, in collaboration with private forecaster Skymet, has established an additional 94 automated weather stations. As per BIS standards, Kerala requires 256 weather stations.