Bettering Monsoon forecasting a gradual process: Govt

New Delhi: With the India Meteorological Department’s prediction of “above normal” Monsoon likely to go “wrong”, the government on Tuesday said the improvement in forecasting will be gradual.

“Of the ten times, we have got our prediction right nearly eight times. We are working to improve the forecast, but that will be gradual,” Ministry of Earth Sciences Secretary Madhavan Nair Rajeevan said.

He said the government is investing nearly Rs 400 crores for the Monsoon Mission project to better the weather forecasting in the country.

With less than 10 days left for the rainfall season to end, the IMD yesterday had said the season would end with the country receiving “normal” precipitation and not “above normal” as it had earlier forecast.

The country’s weather agency has attributed the downward revision to the delay in La Nina phenomenon.

Sunita Narain, director general, Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) said India gets nearly 100 hours of rainfall on an average.

“However, the number of rainfall hours are decreasing. Which means rainfall intensity has increased, resulting in a flood like situation.

“On the other hand, if we look at drought, five states in 2013 experienced such conditions. Six states in 2014 and 15 states in 2015 faced drought like conditions,” she said.

Rajeevan said Monsoon has become more erratic in nature.

CSE also launched an e-book “An 8-million-year-old mysterious date with monsoons”, tracing the history of this rainfall phenomenon.

Terming monsoon as the “real” finance minister of the country, Narian said the economic fate of the nation depends on it. She also batted for having a better management of water resources in the country, in the wake of erratic monsoon and growing wars conflicts in the country.

“In this day and age of climate change, it is becoming increasing difficult to predict and understand this powerful phenomenon,” she said.