Small is beautiful

What is common between these
* Euro-Asian snow cover in December
* Temperature over North West Europe in January
* Pressure gradient in Europe in January
* The 50 millibar wind of January/February
* Arabian Sea surface temperature in January
* Atmospheric pressure of East Asia in February
* Sea surface temperature over Southern Indian Ocean in February
* El Nino status of the previous year.

These are the factors influencing the monsoon in India. All this information is fed into the new model developed at Indian Meteorology Department. Before this, they used to consider 16 factors. Now they think only 8 is enough because European weather is also now factored in.
“Meteorologists rework model for monsoon forecast”:
bq. “Instead of depending on the northern hemisphere situation in general, we are now concentrating more on the European conditions. It definitely has a bearing on our monsoon. Observers in Europe and other developed countries too have this view,” pointed out P V Joseph, former director of the Indian Meteorology Department.
The model was tested with data for the past 38 years and it has given kind of near accurate prediction. But still last years drought was not predicted by the new model too.
PS: How do they measure the surface temperature of Arabian Sea ? Thermometer ?

8 thoughts on “Small is beautiful

  1. Thermometer placed in buoys is indeed one of the ways to measure surface temparature. Other methods include using satellites and even sound can used to measure the temparature in the ocean.

  2. MacGuy, That is very interesting to read. I wonder if any of the Indian Satellites are used for this. Or do we buy data from other countries ?

  3. I’ll trust the met department if or when it actually makes an accurate prediction. As far back as I can remember, they have predicted a “normal monsoon” every time. This time they have predicted a drought, so I’m kind of hopeful about the rains.

  4. Ravikiran, I think frogs (due to some biological ability) have better ability in prediciting rains than the Met Dept. Maybe we should sell all those computers, layoff the scientists and instead have a farm of frogs. If they do not make accurate predictions, they can be “fired” and exported.

  5. There was this local joke in Vizag (my homecity) that one day this messenger walked to the local radio station in a heavy downpour to deliver the weather report from the local met station that it will be a warm and sunny day 🙂

  6. JK, Yes. I think the Meteorological department of India has a stake in the INSAT program and the IRS series of satellites since it’s inception. And if I understand correctly, the IRS (Remote Sensing) satellites are indeed used for gathering weather related data. Why is it then the meteorological dept’s predictions are way off and become the subject of jokes?
    I came across this interesting take on the recent years’ monsoon forecasting and why, despite all the advances in technology, it still remains as a difficult task. BTW, the “frog joke” above is a very good one :-).

  7. Is there any site which details all the meteorological phenomenons in India?
    Further, is there any site by the Meteo depts, where the Indian weather is explained/ discussed in detail?

  8. Capt. Sekhar, Not that I am aware of. But if you pick up the book Chasing the Monsoon by Alexander Frater, you will get some good references.

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