For cities and towns that consider agriculture among its communities’ top livelihood sources, access to accurate and updated weather systems is significant. Not only does this help protect the welfare of its people, but it also allows them to secure crops and, in turn, their livelihoods.
Assam, a Northeastern state in India, is home to more than 34 million people. The state is already vulnerable to natural disasters due to its unique geo-climatic condition. Governing over such a population means addressing their varying needs and protecting each of them against perennial floods, river bank erosion, landslides and other environmental catastrophes.
With the threat of extreme weather brought about by climate change, the task of protecting its population spread across 24,000 villages becomes even more challenging.
Protecting against environmental catastrophes
Dr. Biren Baishya, GIS Expert and Assam State Disaster Management Authority in India acknowledged that one of their major problems is timely dissemination of lightning alerts that will cover up to the last mile in their State.
“Through Komunidad, we are able to provide lightning and thunderstorm alerts and rain warnings to our people,” he shared.
To help, Komunidad continues to refine its impact-based weather monitoring and forecasting decision tools for Assam State Disaster Management Agency (ASDMA).
The ASDMA was given access to a system that focuses on visualization, reporting and alerting of lightning, dangerous thunderstorms, weather forecast & nowcast, and tropical cyclones. Komunidad has also integrated high quality datasets from government and private sources to create custom visualizations, automated reports and alerting.
Through this expanse of data, Assam is able to provide to its millions of residents updated and localized severe weather early warning through email and SMS.
Specifically, they will receive lightning proximity alerts and severe storm warnings with up to 95% lightning detection efficiency, and dangerous thunderstorms with an average of 45 minutes of advanced lead-time warning for severe weather. These alerts are sent out during times of high frequency lightning that increases risk for lightning strikes, heavy rain rates, high winds and hail.
Komunidad also provides Assam with high-resolution synthetic weather observations as supporting datasets and high-resolution 15-day hourly weather forecast with more than 10 parameters. During times of rain, analysis will also be provided and a Nowcast with 15-minutes breakdown of rain and wind parameters. Reports will also include Tropical Cyclones observations and forecasts (including Invest).
The database meanwhile will also feature official Government warnings and weather information; and hazard maps and automated weather stations & other sensor assets from ASDMA.
Komunidad believes that science should be harnessed to protect the people. Through their projects and services, the State of Assam can better protect their citizens against sudden shifts in weather and help them adapt through severe weather and environmental disturbances.
“One of the major problems that we face is the dissemination of lightning alerts to the last mile. Through Komunidad, we are able to provide lightning and thunderstorm alerts and rain warnings to our people.”– Dr. Biren Baishya, GIS Expert, Assam State Disaster Management Authority in India