Yr2 Underspend: Interaction of Convective Organization and Monsoon Precipitation, Atmosphere, Surface and Sea

Lead Research Organisation: University of Leeds
Department Name: NCAS


The monsoon supplies the majority of water in South Asia. This project is a large collaboration between leading Indian and UK scientists, which aims to make substantial improvements to the forecasting of the monsoon from days to the season ahead. A significant obstacle to making improvements is the lack of observations of the monsoon and so the project will involve the UK's FAAM large atmospheric research aircraft operating alongside a comprehensive programme of Indian measurements made form the ground. The project will lead to a new Indo-UK forecasting model applicable down to scales of 100m over India.

Planned Impact

The primary impacts of INCOMPASS will be delivered through our partners, the Met Office, National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (NCMRWF) and the India Meteorological Department (IMD). The effectiveness of these public weather forecasting and climate prediction services will be enhanced by better understanding of existing and new processes affecting monsoon predictability. The primary goal of the project is to improve the performance of the weather and climate forecast models used by these centres. Furthermore, improved understanding of the key processes in the monsoon will have knock-on scientific benefits, for instance in the improved conceptual understanding which can be taught to forecasters, improved ability to give strategic advice on issues such as land management, and better-informed strategies for model development. Improved monsoon modelling and forecasting capability in the medium-to-long term will raise the profile and performance of these organizations nationally and internationally, increasing their reputation (the current status of monsoon prediction is currently regarded as poor) and saleability of their products. These organizations would also benefit from our quantitative assessment of the value of new observations demonstrated by the 2016 field campaign of ground-based and atmospheric data, and generally greater awareness of the uses of such data.

Our weather-service partners will convey impacts of our research to national and state government ministries in India. These organizations will be provided with quantitative evidence to inform new policies of investment in the monsoon observing system, given the improvements to forecasting and analysis that we expect our new and additional observations will initiate. New interpretations of the effect of contrasts between different surface types on weather over India should also influence policies on agriculture and extraction of groundwater (both related to irrigation).

As a result of improved weather and climate predictions, there is an opportunity for planners and governors at the state and district level in India to benefit from improved protection against extremes, and associated impact reductions (of flooding, drought, delayed monsoon onset), if the intended improvements to understanding of monsoon variability and forecasting can be effectively communicated to society. For instance, the IMD are already communicating forecast information to millions of farmers via new electronic media.

Technical staff undertaking in situ measurements in India will benefit from improved skills and knowledge in measurement of surface fluxes, the relative merits of the different techniques involved and improvement in their quality control procedures. This will make their data products more reliable and useful.

Finally, the public will benefit through greater awareness of monsoon forecasting and its inherent limitations, and its effect on society. The public will also become engaged more directly with the process of science.


10 25 50