Saturday, July 01, 2006

Predictable weather?

I had invited a few friends for dinner. And that was why I was in the kitchen on a HOT Saturday morning cooking, instead of vegetating like I usually do, on weekends. My maid Sarbati watched me getting hot and bothered, and said "it will rain in the afternoon".

Right. Blazing sun, not a leaf stirring. Rain? What nonsense, I thought. I finished off all the cooking by 1pm and sure enough, the skies darkened, a wind arose from nowhere and it rained heavily.

On Monday, I woke up to gloriously over cast skies. Grey never looked so good! I told my maid to make sure she had placed newspaper under the verandah doors (rain seeps in and how). She looked at the sky and said it wouldn’t rain.

When I reached office, my colleagues from Delhi said it had been raining furiously there! Here, it didn’t rain. Not a drop.

How in the world did Sarbati know? But know she did. Didnt seem like a sheer coincidence.

I had once read a book on water harvesting using traditional knowledge in Rajasthan. The Magsaysay award winner Rajender Singh successfully implemented rain water harvesting and conservation drive in several places in Rajasthan. He used the help of locals who could tell the lay of the land by looking at it with bare eyes. They would then construct underground reservoirs at the end of an incline (although from above, the land would look level). Rain water would seep through the soil and collect in these reservoirs.

An article in yesterday newspaper said that predicting meteorological events like heavy Rainfall or monsoon is a complex phenomenon due to the atmosphere being unstable and the systems dependent on many non-linear variables with scales ranging few kilometers to hundreds of kilometers. (Huh?).

How about, the met department, explore this traditional knowledge / talent and use it to predict heavy rainfall, droughts and monsoons with it, with cent percent accuracy! Now there was an idea, I thought. Would be much easier.

PS – Having written the above line, I casually asked Sarbati, when the monsoons would arrive? (The Met had forecasted 29th of June)!

"God knows when. It was supposed to start any time now (referring to the met forecast), but look it hasn’t"!!!!


VS said...

Hi Sukanya ,

Just discovered your blog and was pleasantly suprised to find the France blognotes.
It really made me nostalagic as we were in Paris for a few yrs ; gare du nord for indian groceries , metros , watching Indian films at pompidou, the soldes ,french sense of style, American lib ( where I used to load up on my monthly book quota ) , WHSmith , shakespeare , supermarches and trying to figure the english names of everything, all this and so much more ...
It was like reliving my experience there , would have been great If I had discovered your blog when I was there.


Sukanya M said...

We returned from France in mid-2004. Would have been greater if we could have met up while we were there!!

Thanks for stopping by.

coolscorpio said...

hi ,

this is raghu just loved your blog and wanna be ur blog frend..

my blog is

pls reply back

Happy friendship day!!!


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