Skymet forecasts ‘below normal’ monsoon for India

New Delhi [India], April 10 (ANI): Private weather forecasting agency Skymet on Monday said that it expects the upcoming monsoon to be ‘below normal’ to the tune of 94 per cent, with an error margin of 5 per cent, of the long period average (LPA) of 868.6 mm for the four-month long period from June to September.

According to Skymet, the spread of below normal being 90-95 per cent of LPA. In its earlier foreshadow released on January 4 this year, Skymet assessed the monsoon of 2023 to be sub-par and now retains the same.

LPA of rainfall is the rainfall recorded over a particular region for a given interval (like month or season) average over a long period like 30 years, 50 years, etc.

Jatin Singh, Managing Director, Skymet, said in a statement, “Courtesy Triple-Dip-La Nina, southwest monsoon observed above normal/normal rainfall for the last four consecutive seasons. Now, La Nina has ended. Key oceanic and atmospheric variables are consistent with ENSO-neutral conditions. Likelihood of El Nino is increasing and its probability to become a dominant category during the monsoon is growing large. El Nino return may presage a weaker monsoon.”

“ENSO-neutral” means neither La Nina nor El Nino is present. Forecasters expect these conditions to last through early summer. A “triple-dip La Nina” is a multiyear cooling of the surface temperature of the equatorial Pacific Ocean, which can cause droughts, fierce winds and heavy rainfall.

Besides El Nino, there are other factors, too, influencing monsoon. Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) has the potential to steer monsoon and negate the ill effects of El Nino, when sufficiently strong, according to Skymet. IOD, also known as the Indian Nino, is an irregular oscillation of sea surface temperatures in which the western Indian Ocean becomes alternately warmer (positive phase) and then colder (negative phase) than the eastern part of the ocean.

Skymet, in the statement, said IOD is neutral now and leaning to turn moderately positive at the start of the monsoon. El Nino and IOD are likely to be ‘out of phase’ and may lead to extreme variability in the monthly rainfall distribution. Second half of the season is expected to be more aberrated.

In terms of geographical prospects, Skymet expects the northern and central parts of the country to be at risk of being rain deficit. Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra will witness inadequate rains during the core monsoon months of July and August. Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, the agri bowl of North India, are likely to observe less than normal rains during the second half of the season. (ANI)



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