India is building a $60 million supercomputer to forecast the monsoon

Last Updated: 13 June, 2016
India is building a 60 million supercomputer to forecast the monsoon

In India, monsoons are big business. Basically, an agricultural country, where the livelihood of farmers counts on seasonal rains – is now getting a high-tech makeover. India rely on the statistical method of the weather forecast, which was originally introduced by British people in 1920’s – have been failed many times – the most recent is India’s biggest drought in 2009 in four decades. India’s meteorology office is spending $60 million on a new supercomputer to improve the accuracy of one of the world’s most vital weather forecasts in time for next year’s rains.

Government representatives wouldn’t say who will provide the supercomputer, but it will be ten times more powerful than India’s existing supercomputer, supplied by IBM. The computer will create 3D models of India’s 29 states and use weather information collected by balloons, airplanes, and satellites to predict the monsoon as early as possible.

Once it is fully operational, we can expect a boost of around 15 percent of country’s agricultural production, which eventually will bump the economy of the second largest agricultural producer in the world. It will help farmers when to sow, irrigate or apply fertilizer to crops and to plan sate-wide measures on case train fails.

The metrological department of India hopes to have the supercomputer ready before the start of the monsoon next year and it will have the ability to predict monsoons a few months in advance. Agriculture generates about 16 percent of India’s GDP and more than half of the country’s population relies on farming as their primary source of income.