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Agriculture News : Novel Method for Prediction of Indian Monsoon Early

Scientists has developed novel prediction method for early forecasting of Indian monsoon's yearly onset and withdrawal. The method is based on a network analysis of regional weather data.

The heavy summer rains are very important for millions of farmers feeding the subcontinent's population. Future climate change will likely affect monsoon stability and hence makes accurate forecasting even more relevant.

"Earlier we can predict the beginning of the Indian monsoon two weeks earlier and now it even six weeks earlier than before - which is quite a breakthrough," said Veronika Stolbova from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) in Germany, the lead-author of the study.

"We found that in North Pakistan and the Eastern Ghats, a mountain range close to the Indian Ocean, changes of temperatures and humidity mark a critical transition to monsoon," said Stolbova.

The focus has been on the Kerala region on the southern tip of India. Information about monsoon timing is important for Indian farmers to determine when to carry out the sowing. Crops like rice, soybean and cotton are normally grown during the June to September monsoon rainy season. The main advantage of the proposed approach is that it allows to improve the time horizon of the prediction compared to the methods currently used in India.