New tool to improve Indian monsoon forecast developed

Scientists have developed a new tool for objectively defining the onset and demise of the Indian Summer Monsoon a colossal weather system that affects millions of people annually. The researchers from Florida State University in the US developed a method that uses rainfall rates to mark the span of the Indian Summer Monsoon (ISM) at any given location throughout the affected region.

For generations, scientists have struggled to produce a model for reliably defining the duration of the monsoon. The researchers said that no existing system has allowed researchers to reliably define the parameters of the season at this fine a scale. The lack of a clear, granular and objective benchmark for ISM onset and demise for all areas of the country has been a longtime source of consternation for people, researchers said.

In some parts of the country, the torrents of rain that characterise monsoon season account for more than 90 per cent of the total annual precipitation. Up until now, regional meteorological departments have relied on their own ad hoc criteria for determining ISM onset, which can often lead to contradicting claims. A more inclusive method will allow officials and researchers throughout the country to define the monsoon season using a standardised system that, through rigorous testing, has been shown to capture ISM evolution comprehensively.

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