The India’s Union Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) has announced that India Meteorological Department (IMD) will use supercomputer to forecast India’s annual summer monsoon. The new supercomputer will improve the accuracy on world’s most vital weather forecasts. This high-tech makeover, with a greater degree of precision in forecasting rains will predict seasonal rains that are the life for farmers in the country.
The new system, called as the Coupled Forecast System version 2. will require immense computing power to generate three-dimensional models to help predict the occurrence of monsoon. The dynamical monsoon model will work by simulating the weather on powerful computers (supercomputers) and extrapolating it over particular timeframes. This model will be used along with the present traditional ensemble model.
The IMD is reportedly spending $60 million on a new supercomputer. This would be approximate 10 times faster than any of its predecessor and its better forecasting abilities could help India raise its farm output by around 15% by predicting rains more accurately. This modern forecasting model, expected to become operational by 2017, is being tested at the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune. So far it has achieved only 60% accuracy in forecasting the monsoon.
Currently, IMD relies on an ensemble model for forecasting monsoon. This traditional model uses a statistical technique. It uses an average of 6 meteorological values correlated to the monsoon such as sea surface temperatures in the Pacific, and North Atlantic sea level pressure. These meteorological values are traditionally derived from century-old meteorological data linked to the historical performance of the monsoon. However, this traditional approach has generally failed to predict monsoon recent decades (for instance in 2002 and 2004) leading meteorologists to call for a new, modern forecasting system.
Hence, by discarding the old statistical methods, and opting for dynamical model, is expected to be the boon for the agro –based Indian economy, helping the farmers to know the best time to sow, irrigate or apply fertilizer to crops.
The IMD, established in 1875, is an official national weather forecaster of India. It is a division of Union Ministry of Earth Sciences.