The IMD is responsible for weather and climate related forecasts for the country. (Photographer: Prashanth Vishwanathan/Bloomberg)

Met Department Appoints Mrutyunjay Mohapatra As Director General

The India Meteorological Department has appointed scientist Mrutyunjay Mohapatra as its director general, an order issued by the government's personnel ministry said on Tuesday. Mohapatra, who is Scientist 'G' in IMD, has been appointed as Director General of Meteorology, IMD for a period of five years, it said.

The 54-year-old will assume charge of the post on or after Aug. 1, the order said.

Along with strengthening the IMD's infrastructure, Mohapatra said his priority will be to improve the dissemination of weather-related information and give impact-based prediction in all areas.

Known for his cyclone forecasts, Mohapatra leads the Cyclone Warning Division of the IMD. His team at the CWD earned praise for accurate forecasts on cyclones, its wind-speed, and likely impact on life and property including during the recent cyclone Fani. When Fani hit Odisha, the team’s timely warnings enabled the authorities to ensure early evacuation of millions of people.

Over the last six years, the Division has given accurate forecasts on cyclones including when Phailin (2013), Hudhud (2014) and Titli (2018) hit the eastern coast.

Before joining the IMD, Mohapatra, who did his Masters in Physics, worked at the Defence Research and Development Organisation laboratory in Chandipur.

However, his calling was meteorology. His village in Bhadrak district of Odisha was often hit by cyclones that brought deaths and large scale destruction. This strengthened his resolve to become a weather forecaster, Mohapatra said.

The IMD is responsible for weather and climate related forecasts for the country. It is also mandated to warn against severe weather phenomenon like cyclones, dust storms, heavy rain and snow, cold and heatwaves, among others.