It is aimed at better prediction through improved dynamic numerical model

The Union Cabinet is likely to give its final approval for a national mission to try and improve the accuracy of monsoon forecasts by this month-end.

This was stated by Secretary in the Ministry of Earth Sciences Shailesh Nayak here on Wednesday. He was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the ongoing 99th session of the Indian Science Congress.

Mr. Nayak said the Expenditure Finance Committee recently gave its approval for the proposal and it was now under the consideration of the relevant Ministries and departments. The mission, estimated to cost Rs. 350 crore, is designed to improve the current generation of dynamic numerical models for prediction through better insight of the highly complex phenomenon of monsoon.

Two models

Under the project, scientists would work on models from the United Kingdom's Met Office and the United States' National Centers for Environment Prediction .

The mission would have two components relating to two different timescales — monthly, seasonal and intra-seasonal scale on the one hand and a medium range forecast, up to 15 days, on the other.

At present, India Meteorological Department makes its forecasts based on the system of a statistical model, which makes the prediction on the basis of several predictors.

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

India does not have a dynamic numerical model of it own. The goal now is to develop a model that would be India-specific within five years.

Dr. Nayak said that about 60 scientists from different scientific institutions and organisations within the country and about 30 scientists from abroad would be associated with the project.

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