The Union Cabinet's Committee on Economic Affairs on Thursday gave its nod for a national mission to improve the accuracy of monsoon forecasts.

The mission, estimated to cost Rs. 400 crore over five years, is designed to improve the current dynamic numerical models through better insight of the highly complex phenomenon of monsoon.  

Under the project, scientists will work on two models already available from the United Kingdom's Met Office and the United States' National Centres for Environment Prediction.

The mission will have two components on two different time scales — medium-range forecast, up to 15 days on the one hand and seasonal and extended range prediction (16 days to one season).

Once the mission is implemented, the India Meteorology Department can come out with predictions based on a dynamic forecasting system for all time scales at appropriate spatial scales and with improved prediction skills. At present, the IMD makes its forecasts based on a statistical model.

The statistical system has several shortcomings. Dynamic numerical models, on the other hand, are expected to come out with better forecasts.

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