Indian researchers are developing computer models that could help predict the erratic movements of monsoons.
The researchers are trying to crack a monsoon's "source code" using short- and long-range computer models that can provide much more specific information about the monsoon's movements. The researchers note that equipped with more precise forecasts, state governments would be better prepared for disasters such as the recent floods in Assam, India.
The India Meteorological Office (IMD) currently struggles to predict when the rains will arrive throughout the country, where exactly they will fall, which parts will receive the most, and how long they will last. Conventional short-range forecasts give some precision but offer only a five- to seven-day prediction.
The new research hopes to extend those short-term forecasts to at least 15 days and enable the IMD to give much more detailed seasonal projections. The new projections also could bring more certainty to economic policy-making. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's government, for instance, is gambling on a normal monsoon this year to boost weak economic growth.
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