Why the weathermen shouldn't be blamed for incorrect predictions?

Its July already and most of the parts of India haven't received any rain yet. A prolonged hot and dry spell has made life of common man tough. Water shortage and frequent electricity cuts have become the order of the day. Low rainfall during this monsoon is threatening to derail an already sluggish economy. Inflation is going up week by week, decision paralysis in government doesn't seem to be ending soon, and in the midst of all this, every one of us has found the perfect scapegoat, INDIAN METEOROLOGICAL DEPARTMENT.

Being primarily an agrarian society, this department has huge a responsibly to make correct weather predictions. Scientists of the department come into limelight every year before and during the monsoons. Before monsoon, invariably every year they claim that rainfalls will be normal in that particular year and farmers across the nation need not worry about their summer crops. Once June starts and as the weeks go by, they come back on television channels claiming due to ‘absence of low pressure' in mainland, monsoons will get delayed by some weeks but overall monsoons will be normal. Temperatures keep on souring and as patience of citizens across the nation wears thin, they again issue a statement that monsoons will be normal!!!

All this drama makes one question the knowledge of these so-called eminent scientists of India and technology used by them. At the same time, we ridicule India's modern satellites and functioning in this highly sophisticated Met department. I often hear people say "If they have predicted monsoon to hit the shores by 1st June, take it for sure that it will start from 20th of June".

In the backdrop of another elongated hot and dry spell this year, I started my research to find the truth behind these predictions of Met department and why this department has become the butt of various jokes all over the country. And thankfully I didn't have to work very hard to find the reasons. Below I would be discussing a few relevant points that a source pretty close to functioning of the department shared with me.

Department scientists with their vast experience and knowledge always know about the climatic conditions and are able to predict the amount of rainfall each part of country would receive in a particular year. Although sometimes few parameters may arise which they might not have factored in their calculations but the effect on overall predictions doesn’t get altered much. With many hi-tech weather satellites present in the outer space, chances of going so very wrong in the predictions can never arise. Well if that is the case, WHY DO THEY GET IT WRONG YEAR AFTER YEAR ?


To this question he listed down few reasons which left me wondering:

1) Farmers: If weather department issues a correct prediction before monsoon, poor farmers may not be able to get loans from the banks. Without proper funding, he will find it tough to buy seeds(for rest of the year) and might find it tough to survive.

2) Deforestation along the Ghats: Scientists across the department accept that rapid deforestation along the Western Ghat section has led to change in climatic conditions and has adversely affected monsoons. But they can't say all this publicly because many powerful politicians of this region have invested directly or indirectly in various real estate activities.

3) General Investor Sentiment: Indian economy is already struggling and various rating agencies have downgraded its growth prospects. During such times, news of poor monsoons will further dampen the investor's sentiments any will have a negative effect on every sector. In order to keep the mood around Dalal street upbeat weathermen are asked to make optimistic predictions.

4) Inflation Control: Prices of necessary commodities are already rising day by day and predictions of poor rainfall may lead them to rise drastically. Wholesalers and traders have been notorious of taking advantage of such situations by hoarding need based items in warehouses and then selling them at premium when their demand rises.

His points reinstated that some dirty politics and some real concern for common man forces the poor weatherman to become a scapegoat and a laughing stock for everyone. Although I wasn't able to counter his reasons with much conviction but what made me angry was his pessimistic prediction that Indians won't ever blame politicians for unsustainable development model being followed across nation.

Can we really be happy with the growth rate on top of fallen forests ??? Do give your opinion about this sort of unsustainable development and what you feel about "scapegoat" weatherman ...

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This Article was Sent to Us from our Indian reader,  previously he wrote about Mating Pattern seen in Indian Tribes and Our Earth - A Never Ending Story