The IMD is India’s principal agency for weather forecasting, seismology (study of earthquakes) and meteorological observations. It works under the Ministry of Earth Sciences of the Government of India.
Headquarter of the IMD is in Delhi. It has hundreds of observation centres throughout the country. The IMD also has a weather observation centre in Antarctica.
The IMD is recognised throughout the world as a trustworthy meteorological agency. It is one of the six ‘Regional Specialised Meteorological Centres’ of the ‘World Meteorological Organisation’. The IMD is entrusted with the responsibility to forecast, name and provide warnings for tropical cyclones in the Northern Indian Ocean region, including the Bay of Bengal, the Arabian Sea, the Persian Gulf and the Malacca Straits.
The IMD is headed by the Director General of Meteorology. Odia meteorologist Dr. Mrutyunjay Mohapatra is now holding the post. The IMD has six Regional Meteorological Centres, located in Chennai, Guwahati, Kolkata, Mumbai, Nagpur and New Delhi. There is also a Meteorological Centre in each state capital. The IMD also has seismic monitoring centres at key locations for earthquake monitoring and measurements.
The public website of IMD is https://mausam.imd.gov.in/. It also has a mobile App named ‘Mausam’.
British East India Company had established first meteorological observatories in India. The Calcutta Observatory was established in 1785, followed by the Madras Observatory (1796) and the Colaba Observatory (1826).
After a tropical cyclone hit Calcutta in 1864 and failure of monsoons in 1866 and 1871 that led to famines, British colonial rulers decided to organise the collection and analysis of meteorological observations under one roof in India. This gave birth to India Meteorology Department (IMD) in 1875, with its headquarter in Calcutta. Later IMD headquarter was shifted to Shimla in 1905, then to Pune in 1928. Finally in 1944 the IMD headquarter was permanently shifted to Delhi.