Pakistan Floods Last Summer Could Have Been Predicted: Research

Research Centers in western countries are saying that they knew in advance of the devastation, which the monsoon rains could bring last year in Pakistan. They are saying that they could enhance the accuracy and prediction time if worked well on the raw data available, said a research report.

Report said that it could predict of any such disaster by 10 days in advance.

Top Researcher said that Pakistan can get this system in just few million dollars.

Following are excerpts from the research:

Five days before intense monsoonal deluges unleashed vast floods across Pakistan last July, computer models at a European weather-forecasting center were giving clear indications that the heavy rains were imminent.

Now, a new scientific study that retrospectively examines the raw data from these computer models, has confirmed that, if the information had been processed, forecasters could have predicted extremely accurate rainfall totals 8-10 days beforehand.

The study also finds that the floods themselves could have been predicted if this data, which originated from the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasting (ECMWF), had been processed and fed into a hydrological model, which takes terrain into account.

The July floods killed thousands of people and tens of thousands of cattle, and left large parts of Pakistan in shambles. The waters displaced, or disrupted the lives of, an estimated 20 million people.

In a few weeks, Peter Webster, a professor of earth and atmospheric science at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta and lead author of the new study, will attend an international meeting of developing nations in Bangkok to build support for flood forecasting in Pakistan.

He says a forecasting system in Pakistan would cost a few million dollars to set-up, but as little as $100,000 a year once operational. He hopes to convince the World Bank, currently providing $1 billion of flood-recovery financing to Pakistan, to fund the project.

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