Ladakh’s Own Meteorological Centre

On December 29, 2020, the Union Minister of Earth Sciences; Harsh Vardhan has inaugurated a Meteorological Centre in the Union Territory of Ladakh.  This centre will provide weather forecasts for the region thereby strengthening the early-warning system of weather forecasting in the region.

Key Points

  • With this inauguration, Ladakh now has its own Meteorological Centre; before this, there was no such centre in the UT.
  • The centre is located at a height of 3500 metres and thus is the highest metrological centre in the country.
  • The centre will provide short-range (3 days), medium-range (12 days), and long-range (1 month) weather forecasts for the two districts of the Ladakh- Leh, and Kargil.
  • The centre will also provide weather forecasts for tourist places like Drass, Nubra, Pangong Lake, Zanskar, Dha-Baima (Aryan valley), Kargil, Changthang, Khalsi, etc.
  • Some major services of the centre are forecast for mountaineering, agriculture, trekking, highway forecast, flash flood warning, information low and high temperatures, and gusty winds.
  • Ladakh is unique in terms of climate, culture, weather, topography with extreme temperatures, ranging from -40 degrees Celsius in Drass to scanty average precipitation of 10cm per year.
  • Ladakh also experiences different extreme weather events like flash floods, cloud bursts, glacial lake outbursts, drought, and avalanches.

Ladakh has 4 Automatic Weather Stations (AWS), two each in Kargil and Leh. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) plans to install more AWSs in the next year to improve the network of observations at places such as Parkachik, Nubra, Changthang, Zanskar, etc.