The objective of the department is to observe and understand weather, climate, and hydrology to provide appropriate meteorological, hydrological, flood, glaciers and related services in the country.
Services provided by DHMS
DHMS provides weather, water, climate and related environmental services to a wide range of sectors, including agriculture, water, energy, tourism, transport and health, to help them reduce the risks of, and derive economic benefits from, the associated conditions. The services include:
1. Provide daily forecasts of temperature, humidity and weather outlook and severe weather warnings, which is important for planning and implementing programs and services.
2. Provide early warnings and alerts of extreme events including Glacier Lake outburst Floods (GLOF)
3. Agrometeorological services to the agricultural community to help improve production and reduce risks and losses.
4. Provide forecasts and warnings of floods and related information both within the country and to neighboring states.
5. Hydro-meteorological data for the country to all interested agencies for planning, development and monitoring.
A detailed organogram is attached as Annexure 1.
DHMS owns and operates a lot of infrastructure that is needed for observing and providing the weather, climate, water and related environmental services for the protection of life and property, economic planning and development, and the sustainable utilization and management of natural resources.
Following are the core functions of DHMS:
• Establish, operate and maintain hydrological, meteorological, snow, glacier and flood observation station networks that monitor weather, water and related environmental parameters;
• Establish and operate telecommunication network for the rapid exchange and dissemination of observed hydro-meteorological information and services;
• Provide Weather and Flood Warning services to the nation for disaster risk reduction and proper planning;
• Participate in the development, implementation and operation of national multi-hazard early warning systems;
• Acquire, achieve and analyze hydro-meteorological data which are useful for the public;
• Plan, coordinate and conduct research related to hydrology, meteorology, cryosphere, climatology and climate change etc.
• Fulfill relevant international commitments, including those under the Convention of the World Meteorological Organization, and further our national interests through participation in the appropriate international and regional programs.
Currently DHMS operates 25 hydrological stations. The Rivers gauge measurements at those stations are done by cableway or traditional float methods. We also operate 10 Sediment sampling stations. There are 15 Flood Warning Stations which monitor river levels across the country. The river level data thus collected are communicated through wireless VHF systems. The meteorological monitoring network consists of 20 Agro-meteorological stations and 76 Climatology stations covering the whole country. We also have an operational GLOF Early warning system in the Punakha-Wangdi valley.
Observations at most of the stations are done manually (twice a day) and the information sent by post to the head office in Thimphu. Some Automatic stations have loggers to record information which is then downloaded every month, while about 15 automatic stations transmit data real-time/ near real-time data to Thimphu on pre-set time intervals through GSM/GPRS/satellite telemetry..
The following broad strategies were to be adopted to strengthen the hydrological and meteorological services:
- Maintaining and upgrading the monitoring network, telecom and data processing facilities, and keeping traditional functions for basic data collection, processing and analysis;
- Ensuring well managed hydro-meteorological and flood warning services network and database;
- Developing and facilitating easy access to database, resources and experts;
- Adopting scientific and rigorous methodology and putting in adequate resources for timely information and services for flood forecasting and warning;
- Promoting human resources development and effective utilization of resources and use of ICT;
- Introducing installation and use of standardized user-friendly technology and equipment;
- Working with the private sector to develop public-private partnership in hydro-meteorology;
- Providing opportunities for staff to participate in international trainings, seminars, and workshops in the field of hydro-meteorology;
- Promoting and strengthening cooperation and collaboration with national, regional and international organizations;
- Promoting research and development