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01) Types of weather/climatic data collected by the Department of Meteorology :

I . Surface Observations
These are the fundamental data used to forecast weather and issue warnings. They can be
taken manually, by a weather observer or by computer through the use of automated
weather stations. E.g.:- Dew point, Maximum/Minimum Temperature, Mean Sea Level
Pressure, Precipitation, Temperature, Wind Direction, Wind Speed, etc.

II. Upper Air Observations
These are measurements of atmospheric conditions aloft, above the effective range of a
surface weather observation. E.g.:- Dew point (measured at different pressure levels in the
atmosphere), Temperature (measured at different pressure levels in the atmosphere), Wind
Speed (measured at different pressure levels in the atmosphere), etc.

Instruments used by the Department of Meteorology:
01.Animometer - Wind speed
02.Wind vane - Wind direction
03.Stevonson screen - Temperature
04.Dry bulb thermometer - Normal ambient temperature
05.Wet bulb thermometer - Relative humidity, Vapour pressure, Dew point
06.Maximum thermometer - Day maximum temperature
07.Minimum thermometer - Day minimum temperature
08.Graphmeter - Continuous temperature
09.Hair hydrograph - Relative humidity
10.Barometer - Atmospheric pressure
11.Rainguage - Rainfall
12.Sunshine recorder - Sunshine hours
13.Baloons - Temperature, Pressure, Humidity of upper atmosphere
14.Actinograph - Solar energy
15.Evaporation pan - Rate of evaporation



02) Importance of the consistency of meteorological data with respect to weather
forecasting and engineering applications :

Weather Forecasting Engineering Applications
For aviation and flight safety
For fisheries
For agricultural purposes
For navigation
For general public to manage day-to-
day activities
To issue warnings on severe
probable destructions
For transportation industry
( road/rail/marine)

For urban and town planning
For construction industry to decide
suitable time period to pour concrete
For the design of solar/wind/hydro
energy sources
For the design of irrigation
schemes/dams/ reservoirs
For the design of bridges, highways,
buildings and high rise structures
For flood controlling
For disaster management projects,
natural resources preservative
projects and development projects

03) Main Steps in Weather Forecasting :

First, weather/ climatic data is collected in 3 hour intervals at 22 stations located all over the
Sri Lanka and these data is collected by the Meteorological Department of Sri Lanka.
Then the collected data is sent to New Delhi, 10 minutes after they have been recorded.
All the regional climatic data is collected at the station in New Delhi
Then all the collected regional data is sent to each and every regional station from New Delhi.
The Meteorological Department of Sri Lanka receives data from New Delhi station.
Isobars are drawn according to received data and these isobars are developed to take
necessary climatic data.
Weather is forecasted using these isobars.
Recent Technological Developments and Future Directions in Forecasting
Satellite derived weather information
Signal transmission through satellites is more accurate and quick than traditional radio signal
transmission process. Hence data derived from satellites helps to improve the accuracy and
quality of modern weather forecasting.
Use of Computer Models
Forecast models are created based on complex formulas. These models are used by many
different weather and news services in preparing daily forecasts. Local weather observers,
balloons, satellites, and weather stations also help provide data for forecasts.
Use of Remote Sensing Systems
These are important to measure things that are more than 100 miles away from the scope of radars.
Use of modern computer software for analyzing data and plotting relevant charts
There is sophisticated modern computer software which is used to plot and analyse climatic
data. This is more accurate than the manual drawings and manual calculations and time
saving
Automated weather stations
The conventional data collecting instruments have been replaced by new digital and
automated instruments especially in places which are not accessible or hard to access. These
solutions have improved the modern weather forecasting with high accuracy.

04) Significance of the Work Done by Department of Meteorology with respect to
Disaster Management
Specially after the huge destruction caused by Tsunami in recent past, Department of
Meteorology has paid extra attention for disaster management. With the establishment of new
tsunami warning equipments, and improved network with other countries they are very keen on
issuing alerts leaving maximum time for public to be in a safe position. Nowadays we can see
that some of these instruments and warning alarms are not working properly. It is the duty of
Department of Meteorology and Department of Disaster Management to be keen on these
things regularly. Also, theres special software called CISN (California Integrated Seismic
Network) which is used to warn about earth quakes. Hence, we can access sudden alerts and
warnings on earthquakes through media within one minute or even less, since the time of
occurring. The predictions and warnings for floods and landslides issued by the Department
are of much importance to the residents of those areas to save their lives from those disasters.
The predictions and warnings for strong winds and huge rains help to minimize the damages by
taking necessary precautions. At present the trust of people towards the Department of
Meteorology is growing. Without their work the damages would be more severe. It can be
concluded that they do a significant service to the nation and its their duty to enhance its
quality and maintain this great effort with more responsibility.














FIELD VISIT TO DEPARTMENT OF
METEOROLOGY