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22/12/23 | 3:39 pm

India enhances weather forecasting with AI amid rising floods and droughts

India is incorporating artificial intelligence (AI) into climate models to enhance weather forecasting in response to the escalating frequency of torrential rains, floods, cyclones, and other disasters. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) is intensifying efforts to improve accurate weather predictions and minimize losses during calamities.


The use of AI in meteorological research is gaining traction globally for its cost-effectiveness and efficiency. The IMD, which traditionally provides forecasts using mathematical models and supercomputers, is exploring AI's potential to generate higher-quality forecast data at a reduced cost.


K.S. Hosalikar, head of climate research and services at IMD, anticipates that the development of AI-based climate models and advisories will enhance forecast accuracy. The IMD has already utilized AI for public alerts related to heatwaves and diseases like malaria, Hosalikar said.  Plans include expanding weather observatories providing data down to village level, potentially offering higher-resolution data for forecasts, he added. 


The government is actively promoting the integration of AI into traditional weather models. A dedicated AI and ML virtual center under the Ministry of Earth Sciences is tasked with developing and testing AI and ML techniques, along with capacity-building initiatives. The establishment of a computing environment and virtual workspace on a graphical processor-based server at the IMD facilitates the training and deployment of AI models. 


Achievements in this field include improved short-range precipitation forecasts, the development of high-resolution urban meteorological datasets, and the exploration of deep learning for precipitation nowcasting using data from doppler weather radars.


(With inputs from Reuters)

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