New Delhi/Jaipur, May 5: When a high-velocity storm caused destruction in parts of Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh on the intervening night of May 2 and 3, a critical component for weather forecasting lay dysfunctional. An Indian Meteorological Department official has told PTI that the Doppler radar in the Jaipur Met office was not working on the night of the tragedy. Doppler radar is a component used in an accurate forecasting of weather, the others being observatories and satellites.

The doppler, which was a product of a Finnish company named Vaisala, had been lying defective for the last ten days. “The Doppler radar of Jaipur has been dysfunctional for the last ten days due to some technical issues. The engineers of Vaisala are here. The problem will be rectified in the next two-three days,” Devendra Pradhan, additional director general of the India Meteorological Department told PTI.

A Doppler radar gives a better picture of the severity of a hailstorm, thunderstorms, wind movement. It also helps in nowcasts, weather alerts issued for two-three hours, as explained by Pradhan. “It is an important tool for disaster management,” he added.

Pradhan said that out of a total of 27 IMD doppler radars in the country, two each in Karaikal and Jaipur are not in a working condition. “We had been issuing alerts since April 29 using our doppler radar from Delhi. Had the Jaipur radar been working, we would have been in a much better position,” he told PTI.

(With inputs from PTI)