Researchers claimed to have created a tool that can effectively predict the onset and retreat of the Indian Summer Monsoon (ISM), which affects billions of people in the agriculture-based economy.
The researchers in the Florida State University in Tallahassee in US have developed a method that uses rainfall rates to mark the span of the monsoons at any given location.
Lead investigator Vasu Misra stated that the current weather forecasting and monitoring protocols focus attention on monsoon onset at one location -- specifically the state of Kerala in the southern corner of the country -- and extrapolate for the rest of the region.
"We have gone down to specific locations, we've covered the whole country and we've objectively defined the onset and demise dates for any given year," Misra added.
The lack of a clear, granular and objective benchmark for ISM onset and demise for all areas of the country has been a longtime source of consternation for the Indian people.
"That leads to tremendous amounts of frustration and confusion for the general public and for the people who are trying to monitor the monsoon because nobody has really gotten down to do it at a granular scale," Misra said.
The team claimed that they tested this real-time monitoring for 105 years of available data and this criterion has not failed once for any location over India.
This new system, which ties the onset of the monsoon to location-specific rainfall thresholds, can work to allay that frustration.
A more inclusive method will allow the researchers throughout the country to define the monsoon season using a standardised system that through rigorous testing, has been shown to capture ISM evolution comprehensively.
The study appears in the journal Climate Dynamics.