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New model to forecast fog over airports (Relevant for GS Prelims and Mains Paper II)

New model to be developed to forecast fog:
A series of organisations has partnered with the airport authorities here to develop a system that can warn of fog at least 6-24 hours in advance, calculate its severity, and estimate when it is likely to lift enough for flights to take off and land safely.

Details of the mechanism:
About 30 instruments have been installed abutting one of the runways in Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport.
It is clarified that the forecasts would continue to be issued by the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD).

Functionality of new model:
These instruments will measure the surface meteorological conditions, radiation balance, turbulence, thermo-dynamical structure of the surface layer, droplet and aerosols microphysics, aerosol, fog water chemistry, vertical profile of winds, temperature, and humidity, to describe the conditions that cause fog.

Relevance of new model to predict fog status:
1. If information like that were to be available, then airlines could arrange to cancel flights that saves money and avoids inconvenience to people.
2. It would be able to warn of extreme pollution events such as the severe smog that enveloped Delhi this year after Diwali.

Current status:
Currently, the IMD issues fog advisories to airports. But they are, at best, delivered a few hours in advance and don’t give information on when the fog is expected to lift.

What is IMD?
The India Meteorological Department (IMD), also referred to as the Met Department, is an agency of the Ministry of Earth Sciences of the Government of India.
It is the principal agency responsible for meteorological observations, weather forecasting and seismology. IMD is headquartered in New Delhi.



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