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Last Updated: May 20, 2007 - 10:48:48 AM
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Five percent less rains predicted for India
Apr 19, 2007 - 7:40:38 PM
He said for the first time a new five parameter statistical forecasting system has replaced the eight-parameter system to reduce the error level.

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[RxPG] New Delhi, April 19 - India will receive five percent less rainfall during this year's monsoon season, the ministry of earth sciences said in its annual long-term prediction Thursday, based on a new statistical forecast system.

'The southwest monsoon rainfall between June and September will be five percent less than the national average of 89 cm,' P.S. Goel, the secretary of the newly created ministry of earth sciences, said at a press conference here.

The forecast, he said, had an error rate of plus or minus five percent.

'We hope, our prediction goes wrong and we get an actual rainfall of 100 percent as it was in 2006,' said R.C. Bhatia, director general of India Meteorological Department -.

He, however, said that IMD would not hazard a prediction on whether the scenario would affect the country's farm sector.

'We will review the forecast in May before giving any final conclusion. We think the monsoon will enter the country via Kerala on June 1, but the final prediction would be made 10 days ahead,' Bhatia added.

Goel said there was favourable rain last year because of La Nina phenomenon and hoped similar conditions would prevail this year's season as well. 'Last year we had predicted 93 percent rainfall but due to La Nina, we got 100 percent.'

El Nino and La Nina are a naturally occurring cycles of between two and seven years in the oceanic-atmosphere system of the tropical Pacific with important consequences for weather and climate around the globe.

M. Rajeevan, director of the National Climate Centre, said if it rains 10 percent less than the national average then at least 30 out of 604 districts in the country could face drought-like situations.

'From last year's observation, we can say that central India is getting much more rains than its average quota, while the northwest is drying up. It's a worrying trend,' Rajeevan told IANS.

He said for the first time a new five parameter statistical forecasting system has replaced the eight-parameter system to reduce the error level.

'A common weakness of all statistical models is that while the correlations are assumed to remain constant in future, they may, and in fact do, change with time and slowly lose their significance,' Goel said.

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