What is the Weather and Climate Science for Service Partnership India?

The Weather and Climate Science for Service Partnership India (WCSSP India) is a research project building and harnessing strong, sustainable science and innovation partnerships between the UK and India.

It is advancing scientific understanding and modelling capabilities that can be translated into services, to protect lives and livelihoods around the world. The WCSSP India project is part of our Weather and Climate Science for Services Partnership (WCSSP) programme.

Who is involved in the project?

WCSSP India is a collaborative initiative between the Met Office, UK academic partners and the Indian Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES). It builds on existing partnerships between the Met Office and MoES institutes including the National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting and India Meteorological Department. It also includes other MoES institutes such as the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, the Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services, the National Centre for Coastal Research and the National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research.

UK academic partners include the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, the Health and Safety Executive, HR Wallingford, National Centre for Atmospheric Science, National Oceanography Centre, University of Birmingham, University of Leeds, and the University of Reading.

UK research institutes can find out about research calls and how to get involved in the project on our fund management page.

Why is this research important?

Every year, the Indian summer monsoon generally occurs between June and September and brings heavy rainfall to the region. Around 80% of the annual rainfall in India falls during the monsoon season and many industries such as agriculture rely on this water. Heavy summer monsoons can also cause flooding making it an important weather event to understand.

Around the world, severe weather and climate events such as fog, lightning and tropical cyclones can have significant impacts on the agriculture, energy and transport sectors. WCSSP India is developing the science needed to build improved predictions of weather and climate hazards to support resilient economic development and social welfare around the world.   

A photo of palm trees blowing in heavy wind with a grey sky and rain.

Current research areas 

Building and developing new prediction capabilities

WCSSP India is developing cutting-edge computer modelling systems that will contain a more detailed and comprehensive representation of the natural environment. These will provide a foundation for improved predictions of high impact weather. The project has already developed a new tool to help anticipate future periods of flooding and dry spells. The WCSSP programme is exploring the use of this tool to benefit other regions around the world such as Southeast Asia and Brazil. 

Evaluating and improving predictions

The project is utilising observations to enhance our understanding of monsoon processes and to evaluate and improve the cutting-edge modelling systems. A range of high impact weather hazards are of interest including tropical cyclones, fog, lightning, heatwaves, droughts and flash floods.

High-impact weather and risk-based forecasting 

To deliver improved forecasts, early warning and communication of high impact weather and seasonal events, the project is using new and multi-disciplinary approaches to develop impact-based forecasting methods. This builds on existing tools and infrastructure already in place in India and the UK.

Recent project research publications

The project has produced several collaborative peer reviewed studies by scientists from research institutes in the UK and India. 

Research publications:

Research grants awarded

WCSSP India research grant awarded in 2021:

  • Fog – Land, Boundary Layer & Aerosol processes, University of Leeds
  • Orographic Precipitation, University of Reading
  • Near-real time and post-event impact data collection and vulnerability assessment from earth observation data, HR Wallingford
  • Flood Hazard Impact Model for India, UKCEH

WCSSP India research grants awarded in 2020:

  • Developing metrics and diagnostics for assessing ocean dynamics, National Oceanography Centre
  • Using satellites for impact and vulnerability assessments, HR Wallingford
  • Novel assimilation methods for coupled atmosphere-ocean prediction, University of Reading 

WCSSP India research grants awarded in 2019:

  • Convective scale regional coupled environmental prediction model evaluation and development University of Reading and National Centre for Atmospheric Science
  • Fog – Land, Boundary Layer & Aerosol processes, University of Leeds
  • Orographic precipitation, University of Reading and National Centre for Atmospheric Science 
  • Coupled Prediction of the Indian Monsoon, University of Reading and National Centre for Atmospheric Science 
  • Research on statistical post processing techniques for heavy rainfall forecasts in India, University of Birmingham
  • Collecting data on socio-economic impacts of severe weather events in India, Health and Safety Executive 
  • Impact scenario modelling for risk-based flood warning in India, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology