Late and Weak Monsoon Outlook for India; El Niño Conditions Continue Throughout Summer

IBM’s The Weather Company Releases Monsoon Forecast for India

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Mumbai, Maharashtra, India - 06 Apr 2019: The Indian monsoon season is rapidly approaching, and residents and businesses alike should prepare for a later start and less rainfall than normal, according to the latest monsoon forecast from The Weather Company, an IBM Business. El Niño, a variable that modulates the onset and strength of monsoon season, will linger for second consecutive year, signaling a later-than-normal and relatively quiet monsoon season in 2019.

"As India is becoming a data-centric society, we now have the ability to proactively make decisions with these forecasts in order to manage any situation. The innate correlation of weather data and consumer behavior patterns is often under-utilized to help predict retail needs – but more often overlooked is its impact on the back-end operations of supply chain management, product demand, pricing, inventory, etc. Such data at a hyper-local level can actively allow retailers to make smarter business decisions to optimize these back-end operations using our industry-leading weather data and de-risk their business.

In Agriculture, all the technical innovation in the agtech ecosystem is now capable of leveraging data-sets to advise their clients and farmers proactively for better decision making. For example: our soil moisture and soil temperature data is used to build smart irrigation schedules and helps address other interventions at the hyper local farm level with a leverage on AI and ML for better crop health. Our forecast teams at IBM use complex algorithms and supercomputers to give businesses a most-likely weather scenario. For Energy and Utilities companies, we also plan the load basis the needs of power at peak heat and sudden rains to keep the grids healthy," Himanshu Goyal, India Business Leader, The Weather Company.

“We’re currently experiencing a dry, multi-decadal phase of the Indian monsoon and haven’t seen an unusually wet season in twenty-five years,” said Dr. Todd Crawford, chief meteorologist at The Weather Company. “The transition to a wetter-than-normal monsoon pattern is dependent on the weakening of El Nino, an unlikely event in the coming months.”

El Niño Lingers for Second Consecutive Year

Looking ahead, El Niño returns for a second consecutive year, causing large-sale weather patterns to change. During El Niño, sinking air is prevalent near and east of India, limiting the development of thunderstorm clusters that typically plague the region in the summer. The patterns delay the reversal of low-level winds that signal the monsoon onset. Back-to-back El Niño events are fairly uncommon, only occurring five times since 1950.                                                                         

The Weather Company helps people make informed decisions and take action in the face of weather. The company offers the most accurate forecasts globally–more than 25 billion per day–with personalized and actionable weather data and insights to more than 300 million consumers and thousands of businesses worldwide. The Weather Company content and alerts are available in 62 languages on The Weather Company digital properties, including, The Weather Channel app on iOS and Android, and the Weather Underground app.

Later this year, IBM and The Weather Company will release its new Global High-Resolution Atmospheric Forecasting System (GRAF), the first hourly-updating commercial weather model that offers nearly 200 percent improvement in forecasting resolution in locations around the globe. Today, most of the world has to settle for less accurate forecasts for predictions that cover 12- to 15-kilometer swaths of land–too wide to capture many weather phenomena. Traditionally, leading weather models update less frequently, only every 6 to 12 hours. In contrast, GRAF will provide 3-kilometer resolution that updates hourly, democratizing weather forecasts globally and delivering reliable predictions for the day ahead.


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