Wednesday, 13 June 2012

India meteorological department takes the help of scientists in improving its monsoon prediction skills

Syed Akbar
Hyderabad:  With official monsoon predictions going haywire
year after year, the Union Ministry of Earth Sciences has now turned
to the scientific community in the country seeking its help to design
an effective monsoon prediction model with zero error. The design, an
improved version of the UK and the USA monsoon prediction models, will
help meteorologist at Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) to horn
up their monsoon prediction skills.

The Earth Systems Science Organisation (ESSO) and the Indian Institute
of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) are looking for a state-of-the-art
dynamic prediction system for monsoon rainfall on all different time
scales. The proposals sent by researchers from across the country will
be evaluated and the best among them will be selected for research
under the “monsoon mission”.

A monsoon erratum has been increasing every year and meteorologists
often blame the climate change for the error in calculations. The
proposed study will help in designing a scientific model that will
accurately predict the arrival and progression of the monsoon. Monsoon
plays a crucial role in the economy of the country and meteorological
predictions help in chalking out contingency plans for farm operations.

The new design will look at and predict monsoon from two perspectives,
short term (up to two weeks) and long term (more than two weeks to
full season). The city-based Indian National Centre for Ocean
Information Services will provide the ocean observations, and India
Meteorological Department will implement the research results in
operational mode.

According to IMD sources, researchers will get additional funds for
collaboration with international agencies like the Met Office in the
United Kingdom and the National Centers for Environmental Predictions,
USA, for improving prediction skill of monsoon rainfall in short,
medium, extended and seasonal time scales.

Presently, meteorologists have a moderate skill for retrospective
forecast or hindcast of seasonal monsoon rainfall and this skill needs
to be improved to make the forecasts more useful. The IMD needs an
Indian model with an improved hindcast skill, to adapt it self to
generating operational forecasts.

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