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'International agencies had predicted below-normal rainfall'

by FP Staff  Aug 7, 2012 15:35 IST

#Ashok Gulati   #Drought India   #IMD forecast   #VideoViews  

What is wrong with our weather forecasting that we could not predict the present drought-like situation? Ashok Gulati, agriculture scientist and Chairman of Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices, believes that the country need not depend only on the Indian Meteorological Department.

"To be honest it is a science that is still evolving and you need much better equipment. I think for the policy makers it may be good to see the input from IMD as one of the inputs," Gulati said to CNN-IBN.

Indian farmer Rameshwar Dayal looks at his dried out fields in the village of Kherikhummar, in the northern state of Haryana on July 26, 2012. AFP

Gulati said that international meteorological agencies, as they have better equipments, had predicted the below normal rainfall.

"There are at least 10 agencies internationally which have much better equipment and analysis. And if you look at what they (international agencies) have been saying at least one and a half months back, that the probability of below normal rainfall is pretty high," Gulati said.

"IMD for whatever reasons was not clearly coming out in the open. But I am glad today they are and policy makers have acted reasonably well in time," Gulati added.

Gulati also said that IMD has been reasonably honest in accepting the deviation in their forecast.

"IMD has been reasonably honest. They have given on their website their forecast and how it turns out to be, and deviation many a times is vast. If you look at 2002-2003 or 2009, they were projecting a normal rainfall and deviation was much more," he said.

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