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Career in Meteorology: Working with weather in india

weather  is important for all of us. Most of us are dependent on weather Directly or indirectly. One of the career avenues related to weather is meteorology. It is a branch of the atmospheric science with a major focus on weather forecasting.

The study of meteorology dates back to many millennia, though significant progress in meteorology did not occur until the 18th century. The 19th century saw modest progress in the field after weather observation networks were formed across broad regions. It is the scientific study of the atmosphere that focuses on weather processes and forecasting.

The beginnings of meteorology in India can be traced to ancient times. Early philosophical writings of the 3000 B.C. era, such as the Upanishadas, contain serious discussion about the processes of cloud formation and rain and the seasonal cycles caused by the movement of earth round the sun. Varahamihira’s classical work, the Brihatsamhita, written around 500 A.D., provides clear evidence that a deep knowledge of atmospheric processes existed even in those times.

It was understood that rains come from the Sun (Adityat Jayate Vrishti) and that good rainfall in the rainy season was the key to bountiful agriculture and food for the people. Kautilya’s Arthashastra contains records of scientific measurements of rainfall and its application to the country’s revenue and relief work. Kalidasa in his epic, ‘Meghdoot’, written around the seventh century, even mentions the date of onset of the monsoon over central India and traces the path of the monsoon clouds.

Meteorology, as we perceive it now, may be said to have had its firm scientific foundation in the 17th century after the invention of the thermometer and the barometer and the formulation of laws governing the behaviour of atmospheric gases. It was in 1636 that Halley, a British scientist, published his treatise on the Indian summer monsoon, which he attributed to a seasonal reversal of winds due to the differential heating of the Asian land mass and the Indian Ocean.

India is fortunate to have some of the oldest meteorological observatories of the world. The British East India Company established several such stations, for example, those at Calcutta in 1785 and Madras (now Chennai) in 1796 for studying the weather and climate of India. The Asiatic Society of Bengal founded in 1784 at Calcutta, and in 1804 at Bombay (now Mumbai), promoted scientific studies in meteorology in India.

Captain Harry Piddington at Calcutta pub- lished 40 papers during 1835-1855 in the Journal of the Asiatic Society dealing with tropical storms and coined the word “cyclone”, meaning the coil of a snake. In 1842 he published his monumental work on the “Laws of the Storms”. In the first half of the 19th century, several observatories began functioning in India under the provincial governments.

India Meteorological Department (IMD) was established in 1875. IMD provides National Meteorological Service to the coun- try and is the principal government agency in all matters relating to Meteorology, Seismology and allied subjects. For adminis- trative control and technical operations, six Regional Meteorological Centres (RMCs) function with their headquarters at Kolkata, Chennai, Guwahati, Mumbai, Nagpur and New Delhi.

It was started to take meteorological observations and to provide current and forecast meteorological information for optimum operation of weather-sensitive activities like agriculture, irrigation, shipping, aviation, offshore oil explorations, etc. IMD has progressively expanded its infrastructure for meteorological observations, communications, forecasting and weather services and it has achieved a parallel scientific growth.

As it is a branch of atmospheric sciences hence mainly focuses on predicting weather and climate. Expert in the field are called meteorologists or atmospheric scientists. Students who wanted to become meteorologists must be from engineering background or science background with Physics and Maths as their subjects.

A meteorologist uses various equipments for weather forecasts. They also get updates from satellites which help them in accurate forecasts as weather forecasts are useful for a variety of purposes. Some of the special areas are aerology, climatology, aeronomy, agricultural meteorology, applied meteorology, etc. Meteorology can be of great significance when it comes to coping up with climate change.

The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), under the Ministry of Earth Sciences, recruits aspirants for various designations through selection. There are Colleges & that offer courses related to meteorology. There are popular educational institutes like Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences; Centre for Atmospheric and Oceanic Science (CAOS); Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, etc.

Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences

ARIES: Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences is one of the leading research Institutes which specializes in observational Astronomy & Astrophysics and Atmospheric Sciences. The main research interests of Astronomy & Astrophysics division are in solar, planetary, stellar,galactic and extra-galactic astronomy including stellar variabilities, X-ray binaries, star clusters, nearby galaxies, quasars, and inherently transient events like supernovae and highly energetic gammaray bursts. Re- search focus in Atmospheric Sciences division is mainly in the lower part of the atmosphere and covers the studies on aerosols and trace gases. It is an autonomous institute under Department of Science and Technology, Government of India.

The Centre for Atmospheric Sciences

CAOS: The Centre for Atmospheric Sciences was established in 1982 under the chairmanship of Prof. Roddam Narasimha. This became the Centre for Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences in 1996. The Centre has received generous support from the Depart- ment of Ocean Development, the Department of Space, the Department of Science and Technology, the University Grants Commission and the Ministry of Human Resources Development.

Its research involves the understanding of tropical climate and its variability on intra-seasonal, seasonal and decadal timescales. In addition to this, faculty in the Centre have research interests that span the entire realm of atmosphere-ocean-climate science. Over the past decade, issues studies include climate modelling and extremes, the space-time structure of rainfall, geo-engineering, mixing and fine-scale upper ocean structure in the Bay of Bengal, river runoff and ocean circulation, tropical intraseasonal oscillations, monsoon cloud structure, aerosol physics and chemistry and geophysical turbulence.

Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology

IITM: Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology was founded as a distinct unit of the India Meteorological Department (IMD) under the name of Institute of Tropical Meteorology (ITM) on November 17, 1962 at Pune by the Government of India with support from World Meteorological Organisation (WMO). On 1st April 1971, the institute was given an autonomous status under the present name. Later in 1985,the institute was bought under the Department of Science and Technology of the Ministry of Science and Technology.

Now, since 12th July 2006, IITM has been functioning under the direct administrative control of the specially formed Ministry of Earth Science (MoES), Government of India. It is recognised as a national centre for basic and applied research in meteorology and atmospheric science. IITM is working dedicatedly on these subjects with emphasis on tropical meteorology and studies.

The World Meteorological Organization

WMO: The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) is an intergovernmental organization with a membership of 193 Member States and Territories. It originated from the International Meteorological Organization (IMO), the roots of which were planted at the 1873 Vienna International Meteorological Congress. Established by the ratification of the WMO Convention on 23 March 1950, WMO became the specialised agency of the United Nations for meteorology (weather and climate), operational hydrology and related geophysical sciences a year later.

Aspirants may get jobs in research institutes or colleges and universities apart from other agencies like National Remote Sensing Agency, Indian Space Research Organisation , Council of Scientific and Industrial Research , Indian Council of Agriculture Research, etc. Students who wish to come to this filed must have patience as the field is not very popular yet. Most of our students wants to join a job which gives more money but this filed is more into research or teaching which need patience to be successful. Employability skills apart from qualification are essential to be successful as a meteorologist.


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