Why is the weather forecast not accurate in India?

Weather forecast in simple words means the prediction of weather with the help of scientific technology. Will it rain tomorrow? How much will be the temperature? Is there any storm coming? Weather forecasting lets you know if any uncertain weather conditions are going to happen in your area. It includes a heavy rain, storm, tsunami, or any such drastic weather conditions. Let’s know why is weather forecast in India not accurate?

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The India Meteorological Department (IMD) which is an agency of the Ministry of Earth Science of the Government of India is responsible for weather forecasts and distribution of warnings. A number of instruments are used for weather forecasting in India. To measure air pressure, Barometers are used while radars work to measure the location and speed of clouds. To measure temperature, Thermometers are used and computer models process data accumulated from these instruments.

IMD was unable to forecast the accurate weather conditions

  • Recently, a high-velocity dust-storm killed over 100 people in Rajasthan and Uttar-Pradesh because the radar was not working.
    The Doppler radar of Jaipur was defective for 10 days during which the dust-storm hit the region. Doppler radar is specifically used to figure out the speed of an object. It helps in detecting the intensity of a hailstorm, thunderstorms, wind movement and also alerts about severe weather conditions prior two-three hours. “It is an important tool for disaster management,” Pradhan, who looks after Doppler radars across the country, said. A doppler has a radius of 250 km.
Weather forecasting in India
Dust-storm in Rajasthan
  • On February 21, the IMD department imprecisely forecasted that there will be rainfall on February 23 and 24 in Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh.
    The farmers advanced the harvesting by two-three days so as to prevent the loss of crops. Since it was an inaccurate prediction, it resulted in the waste of a farmer’s money and hard work. A frustrated farmer from Maharashtra also filed a complaint letter against IMD. “Because of the inaccurate forecast, I along with all the other farmers of my village completed sowing by spending lakhs on seeds, fertiliser, spray pumps etc. But there was no rain and our sowing has been spoiled causing us huge financial losses,” the farmer said in his letter.


Before this also, IMD has made several inaccurate predictions which resulted in a big loss for farmers.

Reasons behind inaccurate weather forecast –

  1. India’s southern half lies in the tropical zone whereas the northern half lies in the sub-tropical zone i.e. India is in the tropical belt. That’s the reason behind the randomness in the Indian weather events.
    On the other hand, a country like England comes under extra-tropical region. Hence their weather is dictated by frontal systems which are much more stable and predictable.


  1. Radars are used for better short-range forecasts but unfortunately, India doesn’t have much radar because it wasn’t considered very cost-effective. Actually, India needs more 30-40 Doppler Radars to continuously monitor every region.
    However, it won’t be feasible for the longer-term forecasting accuracy because there are too many variables and uncertainties in the atmosphere.
Weather forecasting in Indai
S-Band Polarimetric Doppler Weather Radar (DWR)

Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) series: an accuracy booster for an Indian Navigation system.

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) launched its first Navigation with Indian Constellation (NavIC) in July 2013 and successfully launched the 7th satellite on April 2018 to complete the Constellation NavIC. NavIC needs an entire seven operational satellite to provide the effective satellite-based navigation signal i.e. accurate real-time positioning and timing services.

This initiative will help Indian fishermen who dive deep for fishing. The fishermen can stay connected up to 1,500 km from the shore without internet or tower connectivity. This device will be fixed on the boats so as to track the boat location and hence the location will be updated to the ground control room. Besides, the fishermen will receive messages about the ocean weather forecast. If a low-pressure area has formed and is likely to worsen into a cyclonic storm, fishermen will be alerted ahead of time.

We do lack in weather forecasting but India’s cyclone forecast is considered as one of the best in the world. Same has been acknowledged by the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO).

India is country where around 50–60% of the Indian population (directly or indirectly) depends upon Agriculture sector which contributes 16–17% to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Hence, when it comes to agriculture, accurate weather forecasting in India plays a crucial role for farmers.

Read more such interesting blog: How is technological advancement affecting the natural ecosystem?


  • Nimish it’s good initiative….

    Comment on whether forecast..
    It affected by
    1)indian ocean dipole
    2) southern oscillation
    3) westerly jets

    All are complex phenomenon, very difficult to understand by single model.

    • Thank you so much, for mentioning the key points regarding the important factors which are responsible for its effect but our major concern was to focus on why it’s inaccurate.
      We do consider it in our next blog.
      Thank you once again for your time.

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