IMD to launch today a new forecast system to predict severity and intensity of weather

By Times Of India on 01 Jun 2018 | read
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NEW DELHI: Seeking to provide a better forecast system having more specific details, the country’s national weather forecaster - India Meteorological Department (IMD) - will this afternoon (Friday) unveil its new weather prediction system for more accurate forecasts and probability assessment for severe weather.

“The new system will give details of severity and intensity of weather, providing specific inputs on zone of precipitation including probability of heavy or moderate rains. Besides, we are also developing new models for state wise forecasts under the Monsoon Mission,” IMD director general, K J Ramesh, told TOI, on Wednesday - the day the weather forecaster had announced its regional forecast for the monsoon rains during June-September period.

At present, the weather agency predicts regional distribution of rainfall which merely gives a broad picture. Though it also provides short to extended range forecasts for farming activities, the new models for state wise forecasts in due course will further improve the system.

Announcing its regional forecasts, the IMD on Wednesday predicted that the north-west and central India are likely to receive good rainfall whereas the southern Peninsula and the north-east may get slightly less than the other two regions. It also predicted that July would be the wettest month of the season.

Prediction on distribution of rainfall (month wise and region wise) assumes significance in view of planning the Kharif sowing operations (timing as well as choice of crops) during the next four months.

“Prediction of good monsoon rainfall in most part of the country is quite an encouraging sign. The normal monsoon will provide us an opportunity to reach a new record of foodgrain production in 2018-19,” Union agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh told TOI.

Increased output of agriculture and horticulture produce has potential to boost the country’s overall economy as it drives rural demand and it, in turn, helps the manufacturing sector as well.

Coming out with its second stage long range forecast for the south-west monsoon, the IMD on Wednesday predicted that the north-west India - Punjab, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Delhi and Uttar pradesh - will get the highest overall rainfall (100% of long period average) during the rainy season.

The central India - Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh - too will get ‘normal’ rainfall but the southern Peninsula - Karnataka, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry - may get ‘below normal’ rainfall. The north-east India is expected to get least rainfall (below normal) during the period.


Sticking to its April (first stage long range) forecast of ‘normal’ rainfall, the IMD said, “Quantitatively, monsoon season rainfall for the country as a whole is likely to be 97% of the LPA with a model error of ±4%.”


In its second stage forecast, the IMD has, however, predicted slightly higher probability of having ‘normal’ rainfall than what it had predicted in April. Similarly, it marginally reduced the probability of having deficient rainfall (drought) this year.


“The second stage forecast also narrowed down the margin of error (from +/-5% error in April to +/- 4% now) and thus gives us higher hope of normal rainfall this year,” said Ramesh.


 

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