States including Central MP and Maharashtra are expected to witness good rainfall
Pune: Private weather monitoring institute Skymet has predicted a normal south-west monsoon over India for 2018. Interestingly, last year, the prediction by Skymet was correct at 95 per cent which matched with the India Meteorological Department’s (IMD) prediction of rains at 95 per cent which according to IMD was average.
The IMD’s monsoon end report 2017 clearly states that the actual season rainfall for the country as a whole was 95 per cent of Long Period Average (LPA), which is 1 per cent and 3 per cent of LPA less than April and June forecasts respectively. Thus the actual seasonal rainfall over the country was within the lower forecast range.
Meanwhile, Skymet has predicted monsoon to be ‘normal’ with 100 per cent (with an error margin of +/-5 per cent) of the LPA of 887 mm for the four-month period from June to September 2018.
In terms of geographical risk, Skymet expects that Peninsular India along with a major portion of Northeast India is likely to be at the higher risk of being rain deficient throughout the season. The onset month of June and the withdrawal month of September give a promising picture in terms of good countrywide rainfall distribution. Meanwhile, July and August may see comparatively lesser rainfall.
According to Jatin Singh, CEO, Skymet, “Devolving La Niña and gradual warming of Pacific is ruling out the possibility of excess rains. Nevertheless, Nino index and neutral Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) may not have any adverse impact on monsoon performance and thus, monsoon 2018 is likely to be normal.”
Also, pre-monsoon heat is considered as a positive indicator and points towards normal monsoon. Similar conditions are presently prevailing across the country. In fact, weathermen are of the view that pre-monsoon season will be slightly below normal, paving way for intense heat before the onset of monsoon.
Monsoon for Maharashtra and Pune
Sates including Central Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra are expected to witness good rainfall that is on the higher side of the normal rainfall (normal rainfall is considered to be +/-19 per cent). Good rainfall is also expected over areas of Chhattisgarh, East Madhya Pradesh and North Marathwada. Cities like Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, Nashik, Bhopal, Indore, Jabalpur and Raipur are expected to witness above normal rains. Normal rains are expected over Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Rajkot and Surat.
Talking about monsoon during the last two years, Vidarbha and Madhya Pradesh saw rainfall on the lower side in last year while in 2016, the rainfall was good in these areas. For Konkan region, rains remained on the excess side in 2016 while monsoon rains were normal in 2017.
Monsoon rains were on the excess side in 2016 for Marathwada while they were within normal limits in 2017.
Monsoon to be below average: ex-scientist
Meanwhile, a former scientist at Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology Kirankumar Johare has claimed that this year, the monsoon will be below average. While speaking to Sakal Times, he said, “The year 2018 is a solar minima year with 24 cycles of the sunspot. The year will be marked with less number of solar flares and a magnetic storm which will affect the monsoon. Because of this, the temperature at the sea will be lower affecting monsoon.”
Meanwhile, Head, Climate Monitoring and Analysis Group, IMD AK Srivastava said, “Sun is not the parameter when the monsoon forecast is made.”