An indigenous rain forecasting system developed at the Indian Institute of Tropical Management could go a long way in helping people prepare for the unpredictable Indian monsoon.
The system, developed by IITM in 2013 as part of the National Monsoon Mission, can forecast rain for 15-20 days after every five days, scientists at the institute have claimed. “It is currently at an experimental stage. When the system is validated by the Indian Meterological Department, it could become an indigenous model for rain forecast in the country,” senior IITM scientist A K Sahai said. The scientists at the institute said the system was likely to be operationalised in the next six months following a nod from the IMD.
The system of predicting rain after every five days for a period of 15-20 days does not exist anywhere in the world, the scientists claimed. “The system is already in existence in India. Since 2013, we are putting it out on the IITM website. It is being used by researchers and IMD,” said Sahai.
Scientists said the system of forecasting weather over 10 days in advance, referred to as Extended Range Prediction, can play a significant role in agricultural planning, dam management, city planning and management of similar resources that depend on the variability of rainfall.
For developing the indigenous system, the IITM relied on the Climate Forecast System of US. “The CFS model (which is a fully coupled ocean-atmosphere model) of National Centres for Environmental Prediction of the US has been selected as the basic modelling system for developing the prediction system for monsoon rainfall on different time scales,” Sahai said.