Monsoon likely to be normal for third consecutive year: Skymet Weather

In its forecast on Tuesday, Skymet Weather said the northern plains, along with few parts of northeast region, are likely to be at risk of being rain deficient through the season
Representational Image. (File photo)
Representational Image. (File photo)
Updated on Apr 13, 2021 06:10 PM IST
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ByJayashree Nandi

Monsoon is likely to be normal or above normal for the third consecutive year, Skymet Weather, a private weather forecasting agency, said on Tuesday. In its preliminary forecast for 2021, Skymet said the rainfall from June to September is likely to 103% of the long period average (LPA) of 88cm based on average monsoon rain from 1961 to 2010. In 2020 and 2019, the monsoon was above normal at 110% and 109% of LPA respectively.

The Monsoon season, which begins on June 1, is crucial for summer crops and brings about 70% of India’s annual rainfall. It is crucial to the country’s agriculture, which is one of the mainstays of its economy. Monsoon spurs farm produce and improves rural spending.

Monsoon rains are a lifeline for about 60% of the country’s net cultivated area, which has no irrigation. The monsoon impacts inflation, jobs, and industrial demand. Good farm output keeps a lid on food inflation. Ample harvests raise rural incomes and helps inject demand into the economy.

In its forecast, Skymet said the northern plains, along with few parts of the northeast region, are likely to be at risk of being rain deficient through the season. Also, interior parts of Karnataka could face scanty rains in the core monsoon months of July and August.

Spatial distribution of monsoon
Spatial distribution of monsoon

“The onset month of June and the withdrawal phase of September is assuring good countrywide rainfall distribution,” Skymet said in its statement.

Yogesh Patil, CEO, Skymet, said La Nina conditions have been prevailing in the Pacific Ocean since last year. “It is, however, expected to remain neutral through the monsoon season. Occurrence of El Nino, which normally corrupts the monsoon, is ruled out.”

Time series of area weighted for the monsoon season rainfall over the country
Time series of area weighted for the monsoon season rainfall over the country

The Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) is neutral and oscillating lightly on either side of the Zero Line. It is unlikely to harm the monsoon season. IOD is characterised by warmer sea surface temperature in the equatorial Indian Ocean. Positive IOD conditions are usually associated with normal or above normal monsoon.

Also Read | Pre-monsoon rain deficiency hits states

El Niño and the Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is a periodic fluctuation in sea surface temperature and the air pressure of the overlying atmosphere across the equatorial Pacific Ocean, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

It has a major influence on weather and climate patterns such as heavy rains, floods, and drought. El Niño has a warming influence on global temperatures, while La Niña has the opposite effect. In India, El Nino is associated with drought or weak monsoon while La Nina with strong monsoon and above-average rains, and colder winters.

DS Pai, senior scientist, India Meteorological Department (IMD), Pune, said in January that in a few years, India may be entering an epoch of above-average monsoon rains. The 1945 to 1985 period was also an above-average rain epoch. But from 1985 onwards, it has been a below-average rain epoch.

LPA is the long period average of 88cm based on average monsoon rain from 1961-2010.
LPA is the long period average of 88cm based on average monsoon rain from 1961-2010.

“In a few years, we are likely to transition to an epoch of above-average monsoon rains because monsoon follows epochs of around 31 years in these transitions. An above-average epoch will be good for the country and agriculture but would mean more extreme rainfall events for which we should prepare,” M Mohapatra, director-general, IMD, said in January during a brainstorming session on monsoon forecast.

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Saturday, November 27, 2021