Weathermen flying high

Published: Sunday 15 November 1992

-- INDIAN meteorologists are on cloud nine. They had forecast 92 per cent average seasonal rainfall for the country in the 1992 southwest monsoons - and the predictions came true almost to the last drop.

The 1992 monsoon was sluggish at the onset after being delayed in most of the country by upto nine days. However, it picked up by the end of the season - September 30 -and 30 of the 35 meteorological subdivisions and 67 per cent of the districts received normal to excess rainfall. Areas registering deficient rains were east Uttar Pradesh, the Bihar plains and plateau, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura.

However, some experts have a note of caution for weather scientists. P K Das, former director-general of the India Meteorological Department, criticised their technique of predicting for the whole country on the basis of a few broad parameters and then giving the prediction much publicity. Said Das, "It is bad science to assign a countrywide average to a phenomenon that is clearly region-specific."

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