KOCHI: It has been a difficult proposition to predict monsoon accurately especially by the scientists here. However, a research scientist points to four factors for this. “The first factor is that weather itself is a chaotic phenomenon. Predicting it is like predicting the path a butterfly,” said Dr M G Manoj, research scientist with the newly established Advanced Centre for Atmospheric Radar Research (ACARR) of Cochin University of Science and Technology.
“The second reason is that our monsoon is a coupled phenomenon between the atmospheric and oceanic processes. When there is change in the atmosphere and also in the ocean, the weather pattern will change. Sea surface temperature and sea level pressure changes can influence the monsoon flow intensity and direction and hence such changes make accurate prediction difficult,” said Dr Manoj.
He listed the third reason as us being in the tropical region. “Tropical monsoon is well organised unlike Australian or European monsoon. “However in other regions, wind speed and direction at each height alone determine the flow of monsoon. In tropic, along with this, temperature variation with respect to height also comes into play. The branch of physics-thermodynamics-which studies temperature variation is still in a nascent stage. It affects accurate prediction,” he said.
Dr Manoj also said that absence of high resolution data in the tropical region, placing observatories in distant places also result in poor prediction. “If we place two observatories 250 km away, in the Western countries, they have it in five to 10 km space. We make observation twice or thrice daily while they make it every hour or less. More accurate observations need better equipment, facility, more trained manpower and huge spending,” he said....