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Improvements in Weather Forecasting

The weather forecasting systems in the country are comparable to most of the countries in the world with respect to weather forecasting. The Minister of State for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences Shri Y.S.Chowdary in a reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha said that during the past few years, the Earth System Science Organization-India Meteorological Department (ESSO-IMD) has been continuously improving weather prediction services in terms of accuracy, lead time and associated impact. He said to improve further the ESSO-IMD had taken following steps:

(i) upgradation of observation systems (ii) advanced data assimilation tools (iii) advanced communication and IT infrastructure (iv) high performance computing systems and (v) intensive/sophisticated training of ESSO- IMD personnel to facilitate the implementation of advanced global/regional/ meso-scale prediction models for improving the accuracy of weather forecasts in all temporal and spatial scales and for quick dissemination of weather forecast assessments/warnings to the users.

The High Performance Computing (HPC) systems have been recently up-scaled to 1.2 petaflops to support the ongoing efforts for enhancing the weather forecasting capacities through assimilating all available global satellite radiance data for the production of forecast products at 22 km grid globally and 9km/3km grid over India/regional/mega city domains.

During the XII Plan, under the National Monsoon Mission initiative, other institutions of ESSO, the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (ESSO-IITM), Pune, Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (ESSO-INCOIS), Hyderabad and National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (ESSO-NCMRWF), NOIDA have embarked upon to build a state-of-the-art coupled ocean-atmospheric weather & climate model for: a) improved prediction of monsoon rainfall on extended range to seasonal time scale (16 days to one season) and b) improved prediction of temperature, rainfall and extreme weather events on short to medium range time scale (up to 15 days) so that forecast skill gets quantitatively improved further for operational services of ESSO-IMD.

Through Indo-US collaboration, a “Monsoon Desk” has been set up for working jointly for improving seasonal forecast of the Indian monsoon rainfall. Through this forum, Indian and US Scientists are exchanging their ideas and sharing their expertise. This effort has led to appreciable improvements in the efficiency of models in making better forecasts, Shri Chowdary added.