Aim: A study was undertaken to develop a forecasting model for predicting bluetongue outbreaks in North-west agroclimatic zone of Tamil Nadu, India.
Materials and Methods: Eleven bluetongue outbreaks were characterised by active and passive surveillances for a period of twelve years and used in this study. Meteorological data comprising of maximum and minimum temperatures, relative
humidity, rainfall and wind speed were collected and used as the multiple predictor variables in the multiple liner regression model.
Results: A multiple liner regression model was developed for the North-west zone of Tamil Nadu. Values of the dependant
variables were less than or greater than one, and indicated remote or greater chances of bluetongue outbreaks respectively. The monthly mean maximum and minimum temperatures, relative humidity at 8.30 h and at 17.00 h IST, wind speed, and monthly total rainfall of 29.1 - 31.0°C, 20.1 - 22.0°C, 80.1 – 85.0%, 65.1 – 70.0%, 3.1 – 5.0 km/h and < 200 mm respectively, were identified as the ideal climatic conditions for increased numbers of bluetongue outbreaks in this zone.
Conclusion: Based on the values obtained from the prediction model, stake holders can be warned timely through the media to institute suitable prophylactic measures against bluetongue, to avoid economic losses due to disease.
agroclimatic zone, bluetongue, forecating model, multiple regression, sheep