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The Indian government is being heavily criticised for failing to forecast this year's drought, the worst for 30 years.

An accurate forecast of the impending drought would have enabled farmers to switch to more resilient crop varieties, as well as giving the authorities more time to prepare for a potentially poor harvest.

Critics argue that the statistical model used by the India Meteorological Department to forecast the monsoon is flawed, and should be replaced by more sophisticated models.

Link to Nature news story

Reference: Nature 418, 713 (2002)

Photo credit: F. Botts/FAO