ENSO will have no adverse effect on monsoon: IMD

Namrata Devikar
Sunday, 3 February 2019

“The ENSO conditions have maximum probability till May. However, the prediction states that the condition will decrease after that. Hence, so far this indicates that its effect on the monsoon will not be seen,” said Srivastava.

PUNE: According to the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) bulletin for January 2019, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) stated that the probability forecast for ENSO indicates maximum probability for El Niño conditions from January-February-March (JFM) to March-April-May (MAM) seasons. It is likely to decrease thereafter. Experts have noted that this will have no adverse effect on the monsoon as of now.

This prediction is based on observations till date. This observation may change in the coming months.

According to the bulletin, La Niña conditions prevailed till March 2018. Since April 2018, La Niña conditions turned into ENSO neutral conditions again and continued till September 2018.

Sea Surface Temperature (SST) anomalies have crossed the threshold value of El Niño conditions during October 2018 and continued till December 2018. Atmospheric conditions reflect ENSO-neutral pattern. 

Hence, ENSO neutral conditions are prevailing over the equatorial Pacific, stated the bulletin.

Speaking to Sakal Times, AK Srivastava, Head of Climate Research Division, IMD Pune, said that though ENSO conditions play a vital role in determining the monsoon, they may not affect rainfall this year.

“The ENSO conditions have maximum probability till May. However, the prediction states that the condition will decrease after that. Hence, so far this indicates that its effect on the monsoon will not be seen,” said Srivastava.

According to the Skymet, a private weather monitoring institute, there is 60 per cent probability of El Niño conditions to form and continue through the Northern Hemisphere spring 2019. By the time Southwest Monsoon 2019 arrives, El Niño probability would be less than 50 per cent and ENSO neutral conditions would also increase.

Speaking to Sakal Times, Mahesh Palawat, Vice-President, Meteorology and Climate Change with Skymet, said ENSO conditions have a direct effect on the monsoon.

“The four-month-long southwest monsoon seasons hold great relevance for India, as it caters to 75 per cent of the annual rainfall of the country. El Niño has the power to corrupt the monsoon and is invariably related to below normal monsoon rains. However, it is predicted that during monsoon season this year, the ENSO conditions will be less than 50 per cent,” said Palawat.

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