Cycle 1 (2011 Deadline)
Intra-seasonal climate predictions for Sri Lanka and Maldives for water resources management
PI: Lareef Zubair, Foundation for Environment, Climate and Technology, Mahaweli Authority of Sri Lanka
US Partner: Adam H. Sobel, Columbia University
Project Dates: May 2012 - April 2015
Climate fluctuations at intra-seasonal time scales (beyond a few days to a few months) have profound influences on management of water resources to generate hydroelectricity and irrigate agricultural lands. Any ability to anticipate these fluctuations is valuable. Recent, improvements in understanding of intra-seasonal (IS) climate variability and the availability of real-time satellite based observations have led to the emergence of methodologies for IS climate predictions from a few days up to a month. This project aims to bring to bear climate variability insights from a National Science Foundation-sponsored program called DYNAMO focused on the Western Equatorial Indian Ocean. Specifically, the researchers will test IS climate predictions and assess their use for water management in Sri Lanka.
The overall goal of the project is to promote better understanding of IS variability of rainfall around Sri Lanka and Maldives, refine prediction schemes, translate this information to support water management, and upgrade local capcity for climate science and climate services. Even modest improvements in IS predictions can lead significant social and economic consequences from anticipatory water management. Because of the principal investigator's affiliation with the Mahaweli Authority of Sri Lanka, which is the nation's coordinating agency for water management, the project has potential for near-term impact as improved prediction models are developed and tested.
Summary of Recent Activities
Sewwandhi Chandrasekera gives a talk called "Meteorology and Predictability of Tropical Storm ARB-04 (TC5) in the Indian Ocean during November 2011" at the Sri Lanka Water Convention.
In the first quarter of 2013, Dr. Zubair and his colleagues continued producing weekly climate reports, including intra-seasonal predictions through the reporting period. These reports are available at http://fectsl.blogspot.com. Continuing monthly climate reports for the Maldives are also being produced and are available at http://fectmv.blogspot.com. Also during this quarter, Dr. Zubair visited Kerala, India, from February 23 to 28, 2013. He visited Cochin University of Science and Technology and the Nansen Environmental Research Centre. Several abstracts and papers on the research conducted under this project were presented in National Conference held to commemorate World Water Day in March. In addition, a symposium was held at the University of Peradeniya on floods, pollution, urbanization, climate, and school environmental programs. Another was organized on the Pinga Oya catchment. Papers on further research advances are expected, including data and findings from the Pinga Oya symposium. In addition, the research team will receive visiting researchers from the Maldives for data collection in the coming months and will help train them on data collection techniques. In addition, the team will assist schools with hydro-climatic monitoring and environmental programs.
Back to PEER Cycle 1 Grant Recipients