IMD Air Quality Monitoring & Forecasting

  Sep 06, 2023

India Meteorological Department (IMD) and its air quality monitoring and forecasting initiatives:

IMD's Air Quality Monitoring and Forecasting


Q1: What is IMD's latest plan regarding air quality monitoring?

A1: IMD plans to provide air quality early warnings through the System of Air Quality Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) to 92 more polluted cities over the next two years.

Q2: What is SAFAR?

A2: SAFAR, developed by the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorological (IITM) Pune and operationalized by IMD in 2010 during the Commonwealth Games, is India's first metro air quality service. It provides 1-3 days advance forecast in certain cities.

Q3: How many cities does SAFAR currently cover?

A3: Currently, SAFAR provides air quality forecasts for 40 cities out of a total of 132 'air contaminated' cities, including Delhi, Pune, Mumbai, and Ahmedabad.

Q4: How does IMD forecast the air quality currently?

A4: At present, IMD utilizes the American prediction model for both meteorology and pollution forecasting.

Q5: Are there any plans to enhance the current forecasting system?

A5: Yes, the Ministry of Earth Sciences is considering purchasing high computational servers to enhance the accuracy and reach of forecasts. Multiple models will be used to ensure forecasts are accurate and not reliant on a single source.

Q6: How many monitoring stations does IMD operate?

A6: IMD operates a total of 1,200 monitoring stations, which includes 400 real-time stations spread across 400-500 cities. In Delhi, IMD has 40 real-time monitoring stations and 6-7 manual stations.

Q7: How does CPCB contribute to air quality monitoring?

A7: The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), operating under the MoEFCC, releases the air quality index for approximately 226 cities by 3 pm and updates it hourly. They also provide potential health impacts based on six categories: good, satisfactory, moderate, poor, very poor, and severe.

 Q8: How long has IMD been involved in environmental monitoring?

A8: IMD has been a pioneer in systematic long-term environment monitoring in India, tracking atmospheric aerosol properties, ozone, and precipitation chemistry.
Knowledge is the first step to clearer skies. Thanks for diving into IMD's air quality forecast initiatives with us. Like, share, and stay tuned for more.


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