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Heat wave over India during summer 2015: an assessment of real time extended range forecast

Date: 2018-06-06      View counts: 6418    


D R Pattanaik, M Mohapatra, A K Srivastava, et al
Meteorol Atmos Phys
Assessment of heatwave
Hot winds are the marked feature of summer season in India during late spring preceding the climatological onset of the monsoon season in June. Some years the conditions becomes very vulnerable with the maximum temperature (Tmax) exceeding 45 ℃ for many days over parts of north-western, eastern coastal states of India and Indo-Gangetic plain. During summer of 2015 (late May to early June) eastern coastal states, central and northwestern parts of India experienced severe heat wave conditions leading to loss of thousands of human life in extreme high temperature conditions. It is not only the loss of human life but also the animals and birds were very vulnerable to this extreme heat wave conditions. In this study, an attempt is made to assess the performance of real time extended range forecast (forecast up to 3 weeks) of this scorching Tmax based on the NCEP’s Climate Forecast System (CFS) latest version coupled model (CFSv2). The heat wave condition was very severe during the week from 22 to 28 May with subsequent week from 29 May to 4 June also witnessed high Tmax over many parts of central India including eastern coastal states of India. The 8 ensemble members of operational CFSv2 model are used once in a week to prepare the weekly bias corrected deterministic (ensemble mean) Tmax forecast for 3 weeks valid from Friday to Thursday coinciding with the heat wave periods of 2015. Using the 8 ensemble members separately and the CFSv2 corresponding hindcast climatology the probability of above and below normal Tmax is also prepared for the same 3 weeks. The real time deterministic and probabilistic forecasts did indicate impending heat wave over many parts of India during late May and early June of 2015 associated with strong northwesterly wind over main land mass of India, delaying the sea breeze, leading to heat waves over eastern coastal regions of India. Thus, the capability of coupled model in providing early warning of such killer heat wave can be very useful to the disaster managers to take appropriate actions to minimize the loss of life and property due to such high Tmax.
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