Environment

IMD commissions new ensemble prediction systems to improve monsoon forecast

The new 10-day probabilistic forecasts will be able to provide rainfall forecasts with probabilities according to rainfall intensities

 
By DTE Staff
Last Updated: Friday 01 June 2018
These new systems shall improve upon deterministic forecasts that are prone to high margins of error. Credit: Simon Asia / Flickr
These new systems shall improve upon deterministic forecasts that are prone to high margins of error. Credit: Simon Asia / Flickr These new systems shall improve upon deterministic forecasts that are prone to high margins of error. Credit: Simon Asia / Flickr

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has today launched a new Ensemble Prediction Systems (EPS) to provide probabilistic weather forecasts up to the next 10 days. These new systems, according to IMD, shall improve upon deterministic forecasts that are prone to high margins of error. The EPS involves generation of multiple forecasts using slightly varying initial conditions.

The 450-crore acquisition of eight petaflops high-power computing systems will help in generating newer forecasts which have a higher resolution of 12km instead of the 23km resolution that has been in use.

Credit: IMD

The new 10-day probabilistic forecasts will be able to provide rainfall forecasts with probabilities according to rainfall intensities. “The new ensemble will tell us the probability of rainfall according to its intensity and volume, this will be colour coded for ease of interpretation," says K.J Ramesh, director general of IMD.

According to IMD, the probabilistic forecasts of severe weather events at 12 km grid scale across India will help disaster management authorities in making better emergency response decisions. However, this system will not be very helpful when it comes to predicting thunderstorms, the likes of which we have seen across the country recently, as these are mesoscale weather phenomena (limited to a small geography) and not well captured even with 12km grid scale.

Over the past few years, IMD has been trying to augment atmospheric and ocean observing systems in the region by improving high-performance computational capability to 8.0 petaflops and implementing high-resolution global models and advanced data assimilation techniques.

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