Snooping on the rain

Snooping on the rain Indian scientists have embarked on the final leg of an ambitious voyage to unravel the mysteries of the monsoon. The move assumes significance in the wake of predictions about the annual weather phenomenon going haywire during the past few years. About 100 oceanographers and atmospheric scientists from 25 Indian organisations are currently scouring the unusually warm waters of Lakshadweep Islands in the Arabian Sea for clues to the onset of the monsoon.

The experts are conducting the exercise on research vessel Sagar Kanya, as part of a two-season Arabian Sea Monsoon Experiment (Armex) that commenced last year. They are hoping to establish a link between a warm pool, which builds up in the south-eastern Arabian Sea in mid-March, and the arrival of the monsoon over Kerala in early June. The observations have shown that the warm pool