Our ability to predict monsoon rainfall over Asia, and the impact of global warming on this rainfall, is poor.
There has been no improvement in five-day forecasting in India in many years; the India Meteorological Department still uses a method devised in the early twentieth century.
Modern forecasts should be based on measurements of sea surface temperature, soil moisture and snow cover, but there are currently no adequate climate models to do this accurately.
For the sake of farmers and water managers, the research community must develop models that can predict fluctuations in rainfall over different regions of India within seasons, not just between seasons, and also in a changing climate, writes Jagadish Shukla in this Science article.
Such models will influence climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies for all countries affected by the Asian summer monsoon.