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Workshop on Seasonal Climate Forecasts Mechanism in the Region
06-08 December 2017, SAARC Disaster Management Center (IU), Gandhinagar, Gujarat, India

South Asia is home to about one fourth of the world’s population and occupies only 3% of the global land area, making it both the most populous and the most densely populated geographical region in the world. The weather and climate of South Asia is dominated by the South-West monsoon. Almost 70-80% of the total annual rainfall occurs during the monsoon season (June–September) and the monsoon greatly affects the socio-economic sectors of the countries of this region. Seasonal to inter-annual variability of monsoon rainfall, both in amount and distribution, often results in severe droughts or floods over this densely populated region, with large-scale impacts on the agrarian societies in terms of agricultural production and food security. As there is a strong link between the impacts of the summer monsoon and the overall economic condition of South Asian countries, in order to plan and implement programmes to encourage sustainable economic growth, South Asia requires ever more accurate and reliable information about the monsoon as well as early warnings about monsoon activity (1).

Climate change is predicted to have severe consequences for South Asia, particularly in agriculture, which employs more than 60 per cent of the region’s labour force. Some of the predicted impacts of climate change include increased variability in both monsoon and winter rainfall patterns; increase in average temperatures, with warmer winters; increased salinity in coastal areas as a result of rising seas and reduced discharge of major rivers; weakening ecosystems; the recession of glaciers in the Himalayas; and increased frequency and/or severity of extreme weather events (floods, cyclones, and droughts) (2).The monsoon system that dominates the climate of the region has been found to impact about 60% of the global human population by influencing lives and livelihoods, ecosystem goods and services, water resources, agricultural productivity and socio-economic activity.

There are various terms have been used to describe climate forecasting for periods from ten days and up to two years ahead, i.e., extended-range weather forecasting and long-range weather forecasting according to the World Meteorological Organization’s definition of meteorological forecast ranges. Some National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) refer to “forecasts”, some to “outlooks”. There is a tendency to use the term “forecast” for predictions with a relatively shorter time range and more specific information, and the term “outlook” for predictions with a longer time range and more general information (3).

Climate predictions are of substantial benefit to many parts of the world in risk management and adaptation to cope with the impacts of climate variability and change for minimising the frequency of natural event. Use of seasonal climate forecasts is rapidly evolving area. Effective research and application of climate forecasts require close cooperation between scientists in diverse disciplines and decision makers. Successful collaboration requires all players to at least partially understand each other's perspective (4). There is need of appropriate operational institutional mechanisms for delivering climate information effectively at global, regional and national level.

The purpose of training workshop is to provide platform for sharing of knowledge from various SAARC Member States and facilitate exchange of experiences amongst the professionals from the SAARC Member States to effectively help communities to be prepared for sever climate related hazards and become more disaster resilient. The experts for this training are from national and international organization i.e. Indian Meteorological Department (IMD); Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune; Bangladesh Meteorological Department; Department of Meteorology, Pakistan, Department of Meteorology, Sri Lanka; etc. The training will be hosted in SAARC Disaster Management center at GIDM campus, Gandhinagar, Gujarat India during 6-8 December, 2017.

Program Objectives

  1. Provide an updated overview on different approaches used for seasonal prediction/ forecasting of southwest monsoon rainfall in the region;
  2. Provide dedicated lessons on simple statistical methods used for seasonal prediction of southwest monsoon rainfall for the member states
  3. Understand opportunity to develop simple prediction Mechanism using climate Prediction Tool (CPT) for the region
  4. Provide platform of the global climate forecast system at various Global Climate Centres.

Target Group

About 25 participants from the SAARC Member States working with disaster management agencies and relevant departments are expected to be participated in the training workshop

Course Duration

The Course duration is for three day with lectures and discussion sessions. The course will also include a field visit where the features related to climate monitoring and forecasts will be demonstrated.


  1. Tenth Session of the South Asian Climate Outlook Forum (SASCOF-10) Thimphu, Bhutan, 24-26 April 2017
  2. Oxfam Research Reports Review of Climate Change Adaptation Practices in South Asia Charlotte Sterrett Climate Concern, Melbourne, Australia 16 November 2011
  3. Challenges of Climate Prediction and its Application to the Agriculture Sector: Dr Buruhani Nyenzi and Mrs Leslie Malone
  4. Challenges and Opportunities Provided by Seasonal Climate Forecasts: A Literature Review Harvey S.J. Hill and James W. Mjelde

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