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  • Writer's pictureSarah Ruivivar

India Leverages AI to Improve Weather Forecasts

📸 ModelProp / Midjourney

India is turning to artificial intelligence (AI) to enhance weather forecasting as the country grapples with increasing instances of extreme weather events such as torrential rains, floods, and droughts.

This move comes as part of a global trend where weather agencies are exploring the potential of AI to revolutionise weather prediction.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) is currently testing AI-based climate models that could provide higher-quality forecast data at a lower cost. The IMD has already utilised AI to generate public alerts regarding heatwaves and disease outbreaks such as malaria.

The government has expressed interest in incorporating AI into traditional models for weather and climate forecasts. To this end, a centre has been established to explore the concept through workshops and conferences.

The use of AI in weather forecasting is not only cost-effective but also efficient. As Saurabh Rathore, an assistant professor at the Indian Institute of Technology-Delhi, points out, an AI model doesn't require the high cost involved in running a supercomputer, and can even be run from a good quality desktop.

However, experts caution that the success of AI in this field is contingent upon the availability of high-resolution data. Without such data, location-specific magnification of existing model forecasts is not feasible, warns Parthasarathi Mukhopadhyay, a climate scientist at the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology.

As a country with a population of 1.4 billion and a significant agricultural sector, accurate weather forecasting is vital for India. The use of AI could potentially revolutionise this critical area, providing more precise predictions and helping to mitigate the impacts of extreme weather events.

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