India’s First Thunderstorm Research Testbed

As per the India Meteorological Department (IMD), Odisha’s Balasore will get the first thunderstorm research testbed of the country.

Key Points

  • The aim behind setting up the thunderstorm testbed in Balasore is to minimize human fatalities and property loss due to lightning strikes.
  • A first-of-its-kind monsoon testbed is also being planned to be set up near Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh.
  • These announcements were made by IMD Director-General Mrutyunjay Mohapatra.
  • Both these projects are in the planning stage at present and detailed project reports are being made.
  • The thunderstorm testbed will be established in collaboration between the IMD, Ministry of Earth Sciences, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), and Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
  • DRDO, ISRO, and IMD already have their units in Balasore. Now, for the project, observatories will be set up to cater to nearby areas. The studies on thunderstorms will be conducted on the testbed.
  • On average, over 350 people die due to lightning strikes in Odisha every year. A total of 3,218 have been killed by lightning strikes in nine years till 2019-20.

India Meteorological Department (IMD)

It is the major agency responsible for weather forecasting, meteorological observations, and seismology. It operates under the Ministry of Earth Sciences. It was founded in the year 1875. It is headquartered in Delhi.