Radha Sharma | TNN Ahmedabad: Now farmers in Gujarat will get a twice-a-week update on the weather forecast of their district so that they can plan in advance on whether they should irrigate, wait for rains or cultivate the standing crops in time to protect themselves from crop damage. This service has been made possible by a tie-up between the agriculture and the weather department to give forecasts that are useful at the micro-level and help the farmers maximize gains and minimize damages due to fast-changing climate conditions.

ISRO will set up 1,000 automatic weather stations (AWS) across the country within the next six months as part of its effort to collect region-specific data on weather and make need-based meteorological services available for civilian purposes. AWS is a meteorological equipment with sensors to measure rainfall, humidity, wind speed, atmospheric temperature and direction of wind. The data collected would be sent to specially-equipped centres via satellite for processing. The stations will generate data on an hourly basis.

P. Venugopal Rainfall 40 p.c. deficient so far in southern districts A big concern is power generation THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Seventeen days after the monsoon had set in over Kerala, almost right on schedule on May 31, the State is still waiting for the kind of rains that will drench its fields for the seasonal crops and fill its reservoirs to drive its power generating stations.

Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today stressed the need for establishment of flood forecasting stations in coordination with organisations like the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Central Water Commission (CWC) and the Meteorology department to mitigate the losses due to flash floods.

Though manufacturing sector of the country recorded a slow down, buoyancy in agricultural sector has lifted India's economic growth to 9.0 per sent in 2007-08 from the earlier projection of 8.7 per cent, making it the third consecutive year of the domestic economy growing above 9.0 per cent level. The Central Statistical Organisation in its revised estimate of national income said that the upward revision of GDP growth rate is mainly on account of revision made in the estimated production of agricultural crops by the Department of Agriculture and Co-operation.

IT'S HERE: The scene in Patna on Thursday soon after the city had the first shower of the monsoon. NEW DELHI: There is some good news for Delhi and surrounding areas. The India Meteorological Department on Thursday announced that the monsoon could arrive over the Capital and other parts of North-West India well ahead of the normal date of June 29.

The IMD, on Thursday, issued a cyclone warning to the ports and fishermen on the Maharashtra-Goa coast for a period 24 hours, ending Friday 1 pm. The IMD office website advised fishermen "not to go out in the sea during the next 24 hours'. Explaining that the sea would be very rough with south-easterly waves, the website warned, "Winds will be of speed 45-55 kmph, temporarily reaching 65 kmph in gusts.'

In a significant upgradation of its agromet services for farmers, the Government will now provide district specific weather information with a longer-range forecast that will enable them to manage agricultural practices in a more efficient way. Science and Technology Minister Kapil Sibal on Wednesday launched the upgraded agromet services provided by the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) and the National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (NCMWRF), in all districts of the country.

The agriculture productivity in the country could be in for some significant improvement, with the Union Science and Technology Ministry on Wednesday launching a new agro-meteorological advisory service, which promises to offer more precise advice to farmers. So far, the agro-met advisory service was operating at the level of agro-climatic zones. Now, it will operate at a smaller scale. From now on, it will offer district-wise advisories. Considerable variations

WE ARE a country that always believed that summer monsoons were something that the rain gods deigned. In the past, if the monsoons failed and ricocheted on agriculture (the backbone of our economy) and impacted on food prices, we had few options. But of late, there's been a sea change in that whole perception. The change is qualitative, in consonance with sudden and volatile climactic developments.