Rupa Kumar Kolli and David Stephenson took on the adventure of creating a web portal dedicated to the prediction of Asian summer monsoon, after realizing that there were many scattered web pages on the monsoon but there was no single place where one can find all the key information. This motivated the two, who were working together that time at the French National Weather Service at Toulouse, France, on a European Union funded Monsoon Project, to set up a thematic website in 1997 called “Predicting the Asian Summer Monsoon” on the web portal of Météo France. They noted then that although there were many sites devoted to El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO), there were no web sites where one could easily monitor the Asian summer monsoon and learn about its predictions. The duo continued developing the website even after Rupa Kumar returned to his permanent affiliation, the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) and David moved back to UK first to the University of Reading and later to University of Exeter. The website was ported to IITM web server with a new name “Monsoon On Line (MOL)”, which received appreciation and encouragement from the then Asian-Australian Monsoon Panel (AAMP) of CLIVAR, one of the core projects of the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP).
Jayashree Revadekar of IITM and Emily Black of the University of Reading later joined the MOL team and helped to add new features and give it a new look. After Rupa Kumar moved to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in 2006, Jayashree assumed full responsibility of MOL and ensured regular updates by meticulously compiling the data and preparing informative graphics, during every summer monsoon in real-time. MOL became a formal component of the official IITM web portal.
Since June 2018, the responsibility for MOL maintenance and development was handed over to Roxy Mathew Koll of IITM who, with support from his research student Vineet Kumar Singh, gave it a completely new design and added a host of new features to provide more comprehensive and well-organized information about the monsoon.
David is now director of Exeter Climate Systems at the University of Exeter and Rupa Kumar, following his retirement from WMO in 2019, returned to IITM to serve the International CLIVAR Monsoon Project Office (ICMPO), re-established later to become International Monsoons Project Office (IMPO) to support monsoon research activities of both WCRP and the World Weather Research Programme (WWRP); Rupa Kumar served as Executive Director of ICMPO/IMPO during 2019-21, and currently continues as Honorary Scientist at IMPO. Both of them as well as Jayashree continue their active interest in MOL and provide guidance in its further development.