When Nature is the Weatherman

Its monsoon delayed and weakened by a cyclonic  storm and the El Nino, India is bracing for tough days ahead. PHOTO: Madhyamam

Its monsoon delayed and weakened by a cyclonic storm and the El Nino, India is bracing for tough days ahead. PHOTO: Madhyamam

All through the last weeks of May and the first days of June, most Indians have been looking to the skies. For answers and signs of the monsoon rains. With India being a predominantly agrarian country, the rains decide whether the country grows enough to feed its 1.25 billion people or relies on imports to satiate hunger and demand. And last evening, we saw the first signs of a healthy monsoon, amid fears of the rains being a poor show this year.

The arrival of the monsoon is way off the predictions of the Meteorological department, delayed by 10 anxious days. And this article in The Hindu tells us we should have looked to Nature for more credible predictions. From almanacs to studying animal behavior, flowering, and the growth of foliage, the old ways of mapping rainfall closely read the signs on land, over looking to the skies for answers.

Meteorologists use high-tech gadgetry to predict monsoon. But for centuries traditional ways of prediction have yielded useful results. Among almanac, which includes weather forecasts and farmers’ planting date, the Old Farmer’s Almanac is the most popular one and its first edition was published in 1792 in North America.

Read the rest of the article here.

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