Major functions entrusted to the Pakistan Meteorological Department are as under:
To provide information on meteorological and geophysical matters with the objective of traffic safety in air, on land and sea, mitigation of disasters due to weather and geophysical phenomena, agriculture development based on climatic potential of the country, prediction and modification of weather forecast.
(Detail at Annexure-I)
In pursuance of its objectives the department has established:
a) A network of observing stations to generate meteorological, geophysical and phenological data.
b) A telecommunication system for speedy dissemination of data.
c) Meteorological offices to analyse data for issuing forecasts and warnings for aviation, agriculture, shipping, sports, irrigation etc.
d) Climatological and data processing units for scrutinizing, comparing and publishing data for appraisal of long term weather trends and earthquakes.
Existing network of met observatories is given at Annexture-II.
The Pakistan Meteorological Department, at the time of its establishment in 1947, inherited only 15 Meteorological Observatories from the Central Meteorological Organization then operating in the Subcontinent. The Department with its continuous efforts has improved weather forecasting capabilities by expanding the network of meteorological observatories, developing methods of observation, improving telecommunication facilities and forecasting techniques.
The major achievements of the Department are introduction of modern flood forecasting system, earthquake and nuclear explosion detection system, radar, satellite, computer technology, flight safety consultancy services in seismic design of dams, buildings and other development and disaster relief schemes.
The Department has also played vital role in research work and its scientists have made valuable contribution. More than 300 scientific papers have been written and published in both national and international scientific journals. Major emphasis in the research has been laid on the field of artificial rain making, ground water detection, arid zone research, ozone measurements, solar energy, wind power potential, oceanographic and space research.
Many of the Research Organizations such as Arid Zone Research Institute (AZRI), Space and Upper Atmospheric Research Corporation (SUPARCO), and Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) started their functioning with the initial assistance of the Pakistan Meteorological Department. Meteorological services are extended on regular basis to Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), Federal Flood Commission (FFC), Pakistan Agriculture Research Cuncil (PARC),Ministry of Environment and Ministry of Food & Agriculture.
The Department processes the raw data and issues Meteorological forecasts and warnings used by various user agencies details of which are given in Annexure-III.
The Pakistan Meteorological Department is headed by Director General. Functionally, the Department is divided into three Directorates located in the Head Office at Karachi, each headed by a Director, as follows:
i) Directorate of Maintenance
ii) Directorate of Forecasting and Climatology
iii) Chief Administration Officer
The organizational chart is given at annexure-IV. The field set up of the department is constituted as below:
i) Regional Meteorological Centre, Karachi.
ii) Regional Meteorological Centre, Lahore.
iii) Director National Flood Forecasting Bureau, Lahore.
iv) Director Geophysical Centre, Quetta.
v) Director Computerized Data Processing Centre, Karachi.
vi) Director National Agromet Centre, Islamabad.
vii) Director Institute of Meteorology & Geophysics, Karachi.
viii) Deputy Director Upper Atmospheric Research Station, Peshawar.
The recruitment on technical and administrative posts is carried out in accordance with approved recruitment rules and prevailing Government policies. Being the scientific department the proportion of administrative posts is very low as compared with scientific staff. All administrative cadres ranging from BPS-19 to BPS-5 carry only 5% of the total sanctioned strength.
The total manpower working in all grades and cadres is 2180. at present, there are 1965 sanctioned posts in BPS-1 to BPS-15 irrespective of their technical/administrative cadre. In officers cadre (both technical/administrative) the sanctioned strength is 215 in BPS-16 and above. The detailed analysis of available human resources is given in Table-1 and Table-2.
A brief description of the operational offices of Pakistan Meteorological Department included in the above mentioned organizational setup is given below.
This centre was established in 1978 with the collabration of UNDP. The operations of this centre are backed by the following components.
This system is operating under the administration of WAPDA. For this purpose, Rim stations have been setup by WAPDA in catchment areas of river INDUS at " Kachura" which measures the snow melting and inflow through the station. The instruments are installed at Bishma, Ogi, Phulra, Tarbela and Daggar which read the flow rate and take into account the rain element. All these informations are collected by WAPDA and passed on to the National Flood Forecasting Bureau (NFFB) Lahore through its 36 telemetry centers. The second type of discharge data of canals is collected by the Irrigation Department through its own network; utilizing police department facilities, data is passed on to NFFB Lahore.
b) QUANTITATIVE PRECIPITATION MEASUREMENT (QPM) RADAR.
This radar, with the wavelength of 5.3 CM is installed at Sialkot. It detects the position of clouds and precipitation within the radius of 230 Kilometers. This radar also covers 17 catchment areas of rivers. Another Doppler Radar is installed at Lahore which provides quantitative and three dimentional precipitation data in catchment areas of main reservoirs.
After the data have been received from the concerned quarters, it is feeded into the computers which are installed at NFFB Lahore. The data is processed after every six (6) hours and based on the analysis, flood forecast report is produced daily for the concerned agencies.
Pakistan, being an Agricultural country, requires sufficient and accurate agromet data. Keeping in view this responsibility, a National Agromet Centre at Islamabad and four Regional Agromet Centres at Quetta, Tandojam, Faisalabad and Rawalpindi were set up in the first phase of a UNDP sponsored project. These are fully functional now. This WMO/UNDP project is a part of an overall scheme to study meteorological factors in relation to crop production. This aims at maximizing the production and minimising the crop damages associated with the meteorological phenomena. Apart from these Centres, a forecasting office for agriculturists has also been established at Islamabad. This Centre named, National Agromet Centre (NAMC) issues necessary forecasts for the benefit of farmers and other related agencies. Main objective/functions of National and Regional Agromet Centres are described as under
i. The centre is responsible to develop coordination and liaison with national authorities of agriculture and water sector to achieve best result from collaboration research and operational work.
ii. Regular publication of "Monthly Agromet Bulletin of Pakistan" for farming community. This bulletin is published by the 5th day of each month and it includes both English and Urdu portions. More than 70 recipients are receiving this bulletin throughout the country from various disciplines of agriculture.
iii. Compilation of research work on crop-weather relationship on regional basis and its publication as well as dissemination to agriculture authorities.
iv. Establishment of agrometeorological data base for different agroclimatic zones of Pakistan. Agromet computer data processing for different agromet activities is an additional duty of this centre.
v. NAMC shares the research responsibilities on national level. Progressive work on water requirement of major and minor crops, crop and animal diseases and analysis for climatic soil moisture stress conditions is an integral part of research at this centre.
i. Preparation of crop reports in relation to prevailing weather conditions on regional level is the main responsibility of RAMCs. On the basis of these reports for several years, agrometeorological crop modeling work is in progress for major crops of different regions.
ii. RAMCs perform research in collaboration with agricultural scientists of the region on common and important issues. They actively participate infield research and provide processed data, as and when required in research investigations.
iii. Transmit regional information on crops and animals to national focal point NAMC, Islamabad. Prepare and disseminate agromet advisory for farmers of the region in consultation with local agriculture authorities.
iv. Technically assist and help in establishing new agromet observing station when required. Perform calibration and maintenance of agromet instruments installed. RAMCs are responsible to trim technical main power of local agricultural related personnel and involved in agromet work.
3.1. With the help of WMO/UNDP in the equipment, expertise and foreign fellowships, a Computerised Data Processing Centre (CDPC) has been established in Pakistan Meteorological Department.
3.2. The Directorate has been established at Karachi which is the main Data Base for Climatological and Meteorological Information whereas two sub-units at the two Regional Meteorological Centres at Lahore and Karachi have been established to support the main unit at Karachi and to undertake provision of Meteorological Data to local users.
3.3. The Computerised Data Processing Centre (CDPC) at Karachi is also involved in Meteorological research activities and in the production of computer aided statistical models e.g. Temperature and Climatic variations, rainfall variations during the past 60-80 years over the main cities of Pakistan. Realising the importance of climatic change, the study of the long term temperature and rainfall changes for Pakistan are under way through computer aided charts and diagrams.
3.4. The CDPC is also responsible for the production of 1961-90 Climatological Normals which was an international commitment and has been successfully accomplished.
3.5. Ever since the data is being computerised, a large number of requests from users are pouring in, which are met almost instantaneously.
3.6. Another step taken by CDPC, Karachi is the issue of a Bulletin "Monthly Climatic Summary of Pakistan" which contains real time Met. Data of 18 stations for the month as well as verified Met. Data for previous month. The bulletin is issued by 7th of the next month and contains computer printed maps, graphs, Normals etc, for the month.
The Geophysical Centre, Quetta, has been responsible for work in the following disciplines:
c. Atmospheric Physics.
d. Ionospheric Physics.
e. Arid Zone Research.
4.2. Seismic unit, at Geophysical Centre, Quetta, maintains the seismological observatories in the country and is responsible for the collection, analysis and publication of seismological data. It renders advice to construction engineers regarding the seismicity of the area concerned. Upper Atmospheric Research Station, Peshawar is responsible for issuing earthquake reports). Ozone and radiation data is also monitored and collected at this centre. A data set for radiation has been prepared by this centre and is being used by scientists working on harnessing the radiation and solar energy.
4.3 Upper Atmospheric Research Station, Peshawar is responsible for issuing earthquake reports. Ozone and radiation data is also monitored and collected at Global Atmospheric Watch Centre, Quetta. Data on solar radiation has been published for scientists working on harnessing the radiation and solar energy.
The Department's training institute at Karachi provides training to in-service personnel in Meteorology. Trainees of other organizations as well as from abroad also benefits from this Institute. Currently internationally recognised courses upto M.Sc level in Meteorology are offered.
So far 2697 national and 55 international trainees have benefitted from this institute.
The training statistics from 1958 to 1995 is shown in Annexure-V.
6.1 Continuing along the path of modernization and with the encouragement from the Government, two Weather Surveillance Radars have been installed at Karachi and Islamabad with the assistance of Government of Japan. A precipitation measuring radar is going to be installed at Lahore with the financial assistance of Asian Development Bank.
6.2 These radars have the capability to monitor the weather systems and their characteristics upto a radius of 400 kms. A precipitation measuring radar bearing 10 cm wave length is going to be installed at Lahore with the financial assistance of Asian Development Bank.
Pakistan Meteorological Department is a member of:
a. World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and has affiliation with different agencies like UNDP, ESCAP Panel on Tropical Cyclone.
b. Pakistan Met. Department is also a member of SAARC Met. Research Centre, Dhaka, Bangladesh.
(i) Landing Forecast for Airports of Pakistan.
(ii) Route Forecasts for National/International Routes.
(iii) Individual Met. Briefing to pilots.
(i) Detection of Depressions, Tropical Storm and Tropical Cyclone.
(ii) Tracking of these Weather Systems.
(iii) Forecasting of intensity of the Weather Systems.
(i) Coastal Area Forecasts (General Weather)
(ii) Forecasting of low/high tides.
Data is received through:-
(i) Communication Network (National & International)
(ii) W.S.Radar Network.
(iii) Satellite imaginaries tracking
(iv) Upper Air data from various Met. Stations.
(v) Data Collection Platform (D.C.P. i.e, equipment capable of receiving data dissemination from geostationary satellites).
(i) Through National & International Communication system.
(iii) Data Distribution System (D.D.S.)
(i) To Press/information medias; the data are provided through telephone/fax.
(ii) National and neighboring countries forecast is presented through T.V.
(iii) National and International aeronautical forecast in provided in the written form to the user agencies
Aeronautical Weather Forecast charts (PROG Charts) are provided to the Airlines. The charts deal with the ground level to a height of 40,000 feet. These include the significant aeromet weather and the forecasted weather at the destination/alternate aerodrome.
Farmers Bulletins are provided to all the regional
Broadcasting stations and newspapers
Airport Functionaries, associated with PMD, include:-
(i) Civil Aviation Authority
(ii) National/International Airlines
(iii) Airport Security Force
Office accommodation, and services like electricity water etc., are provided by C.A.A. Requisition for route forecasts are received from National/International Airlines regularly. Weather service is provided by the Met. Offices at the airports. The current Weather Report (METARS) are provided on hourly/half hourly bases to the control tower of C.A.A. Similarly Weather Warnings, SPECIS, SIGMETS are also provided to them for onward transmission to the inbound/outbound and in flight aircrafts. Security matters regarding movement of Met. Staff is related to A.S.F. who provide the security facilities like security cards etc.
For providing and maintaining latest communication services, P.T.C. authorities at the airport are contacted.