Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Rain, rain

Image courtesy BBC

The rains… they arrived about a month ago in Mumbai. A much needed respite from the heat… And in keeping with the times, there’s bundled offers too! Traffic congestion, the flu, pot-holes, the works!

However, one thing I’ve failed to understand is, when we all know that it IS going to rain around this time of the year, why doesn’t the Municipality? Why is the garbage cleaned (from the sewers onto the streets) just before the rains? Is this something they teach the BMC, NDMC, GHMC, and all the other MC (no pun intended) hopefuls?

If you ask them: What about the monsoon? How ready are we? You will most probably hear:
What about the monsoon? (Once you explain to them the concept of water precipitating from the skies, there’s a flicker and pat comes the response) Oh rain? Who can ever be ready for the rain? It is an act of nature. The Gods decide that and we are but mere pawns in His scheme. Did we predict the earthquakes? What about the Tsunami? The volcanic eruptions, suicide bombings, dumb TV anchors… these are natural calamities. And we should know better than to question His will. You people are hard to please!

And when asked how other countries are predicting and forecasting it, (The following is quoted from this interview and is NOT fictional)
One reason is their science and technology is better. Secondly, their weather pattern, their science of weather is different. Here up to 3 o' clock, there will be no cloud but at 4 you will get a cloud and by 5 it will rain. This won't happen in the US. If it's going to rain there at 4 pm, by morning there will be clouds. Even two days prior it will be known that clouds are coming. But not so in our country.
If the Americans are asked to issue a forecast for India, they will also do badly (laughs). That's what I feel because our weather pattern is difficult. When you assess a forecast skill, don't assess the (Indian Meteorological Department) IMD's skill with the skill of the USA. It is like comparing Tendulkar with a school cricket boy. It is meaningless.
You should compare the weather forecasting capability of India with any country in the tropics, that is a reasonable comparison. I am not saying the IMD is doing the best job, but it is uneasy for me to compare the IMD skill US or UK. You can compare India to Thailand or to some extent Korea, Singapore. Among the tropical countries, we are leaders, that's what I feel.

Now, I can sleep well, safe in the knowledge that the ‘Sachin Tendulkar’ of weather forecasting is watching out for us. And I’m done cribbing! We’re at-least better than Bangladesh! Or Vietnam, or Sudan, or Somalia in forecasting the weather.


Sue said...

That's an awesome pic you have put up.... the kids look like they have no worries at that particular moment... :D

Ayla said...

Keep up the good work.