Kathmandu, Mar 2 – In a bid to make the weather information system more systematic, effective and credible, a regular flight of weather balloon has kicked off in the capital city.
The flight was begun from the Radiation Flight Centre of Tribhuvan University at 5:45am, said the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology under the Ministry of Energy, Water Resource and Irrigation.
The test flight of the weather balloon was however conducted eight months back. After the test flight, necessary infrastructures were prepared to conduct the flight regularly.
The higher the balloon filled with hydrogen gas goes, the bigger the balloon due to low pressure. Reaching a certain height, the balloon bursts. The sensor installed in the balloon sends the weather detail regularly. The weather balloon takes the pace of six meter per second to go up while three meter per second to come down.
According to the Department, it costs 200 US dollars per day to conduct the balloon flight. Director General at the Department, Sarju Vaidya, informed that it was launched as per a project funded by the World Bank for improving Nepal’s weather forecasting system and its modernization.
The Mahabir Shree Company Ltd currently conducting the flight will hand over the task to the Department after one month’s successful flight.
The cost for this project is arranged for two years, then the government needs to include it in the regular budget.
Currently, the Metereological Forecasting Division under the Department is making the weather forecast for three days with the global model. But, neighbouring India is making the weather forecast for one week to 10 days.
With this balloon flight, it would be easy to observe the atmosphere above the surface as well, said senior meteorologist Shanti Kandel. It further helps us to make the weather forecast more credible, according to Kandel.
The balloon weighs some 350 gram and the equipments of 100 grams can be kept in the balloon. Every second, it sends the information on temperature, speed and direction of wind and relative humidity which is useful to predict the weather condition.
The balloon drops on the earth at 9 to 10 am in any part of the Kathmandu Valley. Anyone finding the equipment in the parachute of burst balloon is requested to submit it at the Department. However, the equipment cannot be reused.