Prof. P.V. Joseph turns 90

On the occasion of the 90th birthday of Prof. Porathur Vareed Joseph, the Indian Meteorological Society and a group of Veteran Meteorologists who have worked with Prof. Jospeh have sent felicitations and messages to thank him for mentoring, nurturing, and building the community of atmospheric researchers belonging to five generations; and in making the scientific knowledge accessible to students and young researchers via his monumental lectures and research contributions. 

Prof. P.V. Joseph was born in Kerala on 29 December 1932. He completed Master’s degree in Physics in 1953 from the University of Madras. In 1957, he joined the India Meteorological Department (IMD). During the first five years he was posted at Colaba and Alibag Observatories, the then Bombay (now Mumbai), where he did research in geomagnetism. Subsequently, he carried out the responsibilities of operational weather forecasting for sixteen years at several centres in India, in the fields of aviation meteorology, cyclone warning, etc. Thereafter, for the next ten years he was Director of the Meteorological Training School of IMD (designated as WMO Regional Training Centre) at Pune, where he taught Tropical Meteorology and Weather Prediction to over 500 persons from India as well as several neighbouring countries. 

In 1983 he obtained PhD degree in Physics from the University of Pune for his work on monsoon variability, under the guidance of the eminent scientist and scholar, Late Prof. R. Ananthakrishnan. After taking voluntary retirement from IMD in 1989, Prof. Joseph took up various assignments in India and USA. During the recent 18 years, Prof. Joseph has served as UGC Visiting Professor/Emeritus Professor at the Department of Atmospheric Science of the Cochin University of Science and Technology where he taught MSc and MTech courses and guided research in collaboration with the faculty and PhD students. 

His important research contributions included the discovery of a low level Jetstream in monsoon, role of north Indian Ocean on monsoon onset and active-break phases, SST-Convection relationship, development of a model for dust-storm (called locally Aandhi), role of mid-latitude westerlies and Rossby waves on monsoon variability, role of the ocean mixed layer depth in the intra-seasonal variability of Asian summer monsoon and on the mechanisms of the decadal variability of Asian summer monsoon and instability in the ocean-atmosphere system that is responsible for frequent monsoon droughts. 

He has 70 research publications (40 of them in peer reviewed scientific journals). In 1978, he received the Hari Om Ashram Prerit Dr. Vikram Sarabhai Research Award for original research in Atmospheric Physics and Hydrology. In 2012, Prof. Joseph was the recipient of the Swadeshi Science Puraskaram and also of felicitations on the IMD Foundation Day. 

In recognition of his outstanding contribution to Atmospheric Science & Technology, the Ministry of Earth Sciences has honoured Prof. Joseph with “National Award in Atmospheric Science & Technology” for the year 2016. He was bestowed with Sir Gilbert Walker Gold Medal by Indian Meteorological Society for his outstanding and pioneering contribution in the field of meteorology, in the year 2021.

Indian Meteorological Society conveys its warm greetings on the occasion of his 90th Birthday, and wishes him many more years of good health and active contributions to the science of meteorology.

Contributed by Abhilash S., IMS Kochi Chapter (29 December 2022)