Precise PIK forecasts of the beginning of the monsoon help farmers in India

05/17/2022 - For the 6. year in a row, PIK-scientist Elena Surovyatkina has predicted the onset of the Indian Summer Monsoon in Central India more than a month in advance. According to her forecast, the monsoon will begin between 14 and 18 June in Central India and Telangana and after 10 July reach Delhi. The unique forecast accounts for climate change effects, making it reliable to use for farming. It is the most awaited news for Indian farmers because the sowing and planting starts with the beginning of the rainy season.
Precise PIK forecasts of the beginning of the monsoon help farmers in India
Photo: Shailendra Kotian/Pixabay

The Indian Monsoon Forecast from PIK-Scientist Elena Surovyatkina differs fundamentally from forecasts of numerical weather and climate models. Its special feature is that it takes into account the entire transition period from pre-monsoon to the monsoon.  "In some years, I observed that a dry spell commonly occurs after monsoon onset, forcing farmers to re-sow crops. However, once losing their investment in crops, poor farmers have no money to rebuy them. Hence, an unexpected dry spell leads to financial catastrophe for billion farmers", explains Surovyatkina, group leader for monsoon research within the B-EPICC project, which is part of the International Climate Initiative (IKI).  Due to its great importance for farmers, her new forecast aims to account for the appearance of a dry spell period.

This year, according to the forecast, the monsoon begins  in Central India and Telangana with intermittent rains between 14 and 18 June. However, a dry spell will likely occur from 19 to 26 June. After that, continuous monsoon rains are expected. She also forecasts that the monsoon will likely reach the Delhi region after 10 July. And also, intermittent rains and short dry spells are possible till 29 July. A longer dry spell will likely occur between 29 July and 14 August. After 14 August, more persistent monsoon rainfalls are expected over the region. The uncertainty of the forecasted dates is +/- 4 days.

The forecast helps Indian farmers to plan their sowing and planting, especially under extreme conditions with heatwaves this spring. According to the Indian Meteorological Department, average temperatures in April were the highest for northern and central parts of the country since records began over 100 years ago. Currently, the Weather & Radar distributes the forecasts to 1,6 Million subscribers in India. Farmers receive forecasts in English, Hindi, Tamil, and Telugu languages.


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