Predictions made in 1997

Here are some real-time predictions made prior to the onset of the 1997 Asian summer monsoon. Both the UKMO dynamical GCM and the IMD statistical regression models predicted a weaker than normal monsoon, which may be as expected considering the strong El Nino warm sea surface conditions prevailing from May 1997 onwards. However, the IMD forecast did not indicate severe Indian drought conditions, possibly due to the two Himalayan snow predictors being favourable for a strong Indian monsoon (Thapliyal, INTROMET meeting, Delhi, 2-5 Dec 1997). Strong drought conditions did however appear over Indonesia in 1997 and were in part responsible for severe forest fires which caused haze over much of South East Asia.