IISER Bhopal researchers publish study on improving rainfall forecast in the country

The researchers of IISER Bhopal and University of Melbourne carried out the study in major river basins such as Ganga, Narmada, Mahanadi, and Godavari.

The IISER team aims to mitigate the challenges posed by the erratic nature of rainfall. (Image: Official)The IISER team aims to mitigate the challenges posed by the erratic nature of rainfall. (Image: Official)

Divyansh | September 19, 2023 | 03:36 PM IST

BHOPAL: The Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) Bhopal in collaboration with Australian-based universities and research organisations to develop statistical techniques to enhance the accuracy of rainfall predictions in river basins across the country.

The findings of the research have been published in journals, the Hydrological Sciences, the International Journal of River Basin Management and the Journal of Hydrology: Regional Studies.

The team included researchers Sanjeev Kumar Jha, assistant professor at the department of Earth and environmental sciences, IISER Bhopal, and his research scholars, Nibedita Samal, Ankit Singh, R Ashwin, and Akshay Singhal. Qichun Yang, and QJ Wang from the University of Melbourne and David E Robertson from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation in Australia also participated in the study. The researchers evaluated forecast accuracy across major river basins like Ganga, Narmada, Mahanadi, Tapti, and Godavari.

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The team aims to mitigate the challenges posed by the erratic nature of rainfall, a crucial factor for India's agricultural productivity and overall sustenance. The study read rainfall patterns in the country exhibit considerable variation in intensity, frequency, and distribution across both space and time.

“Accurate rainfall forecasting is of paramount importance for a nation that heavily depends on rainfall to drive agricultural operations and fuel economic progress. Rainfall predictions are also important to help the country tackle flooding issues and manage water resources during the erratic monsoon months of June, July, August, and September,” it added.

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The team employed several diverse statistical approaches to predict rainfall patterns. In an earlier study published in 2021, the team had used quantitative precipitation forecast (QPF) data obtained from a numerical weather prediction model to forecast the flow of water in rivers.

Sanjeev Kumar Jha emphasised that this collaborative research initiative between IISER Bhopal scientists and their Australian counterparts carries immense potential to revolutionise India's ability to anticipate and address rainfall-related complexities.

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