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More cloud observation campaigns needed to improve weather models, monsoon forecasts: Experts

Forecasting Indian monsoon continues to remain a challenge for meteorologists, said Ravi Nanjundiah, director, IITM.

By: Express News Service | Pune |
August 2, 2021 9:59:09 pm
With monsoon being the lifeline of India and South Asia, the IMD chief stressed on the need for carrying out more observational campaigns of clouds. (Representation Image)

In order to improve monsoon forecasts, more observational campaigns are needed to improve the understanding of cloud characteristics and behaviours, said Mrutyunjay Mohapatra, director general, India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Monday.

He was speaking at the inauguration of the 18th International Conference on Cloud Precipitation hosted by the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune. The conference, organised once every four years, is being hosted for the first time by an Asian country. It was originally scheduled to be held in the city last year.

“Apart from the southwest monsoon rainfall, India receives all kinds of precipitation like snow and hailstorm during winters and other seasons. So, integration of cloud physics into weather modeling remains a challenge,” said Mohapatra.

Forecasting Indian monsoon continues to remain a challenge for meteorologists, said Ravi Nanjundiah, director, IITM.

With monsoon being the lifeline of India and South Asia, the IMD chief stressed on the need for carrying out more observational campaigns of clouds.

Professor Ashutosh Sharma, secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences, lauded the Cloud Aerosol Interaction and Precipitation Enhancement Experiment (CAIPEEX), results of which are still awaited. The report, cloud physicists say, will be a crucial and deciding factor in governments opting for cloud seeding experiments and generating rainfall artificially.

Thara Prabhakaran, project director of CAIPEEX, added that cloud physics remains the biggest uncertainty and still is the weakest among parameters fed into weather models used for fore casting by IMD.

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