Noted weather scientist and ‘cyclone man’ Mrutyunjay Mohapatra from Odisha officially took charge as the Director-General of Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) on Thursday.
Mohapatra, who is Scientist ‘G’ in the IMD, replaced KJ Ramesh, who headed the India Meteorological Department (IMD) since 2016.
In the last 27 years at IMD, Mrutyunjay Mohapatra has been involved in the forecasting of over 50 tropical cyclones developing over the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea. In some cases, the weather department’s accurate prediction was able to save lives, but in others, the cyclones left a trail of destruction and hundreds dead.
Mohapatra, the head of services since 2016, was also at the helm of affairs of the Regional Specialized Meteorological Centre (RSMC), Tropical Cyclone, since 2008, and led the team that provided early warning for cyclones Phailin, Hudhud, Vardah, Titli, Sagar, Mekunu and Fani. This made him popular as the ‘Cyclone Man of India’.
Mrutyunjay Mohapatra is also a permanent representative for India at the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and was an elected member of the executive council of the organization since June 2013.
A meteorologist for 26 years, Mohapatra joined IMD’s Pune office in 1992. He also worked at the interim test range of the Defence Research and Development Organisation in Balasore, Odisha.
Mrutyunjay Mohapatra is the chairman of various committees, including the task force for the finalization of meteorological payloads of the INSAT-4 satellites to be launched in 2025 and the committee for the revision of guidelines of the National Disaster Management Authority for cyclone management.