Rains may be normal this year, says Skymet

Namrata Devikar
Tuesday, 26 February 2019

El Niño has been impacting monsoon rains more often than normal in the recent past. This time too, El Niño is in the news in the context of Indian monsoon.

PUNE: The Preliminary Monsoon Forecast Guidance for 2019 by Skymet, a private weather forecaster, on Monday, stated that there are more than 50 per cent chances of southwest monsoon being normal. A detailed and more accurate forecast for southwest monsoon for this year will be issued by mid-March.

El Niño has been impacting monsoon rains more often than normal in the recent past. This time too, El Niño is in the news in the context of Indian monsoon.

EL NINO AND ITS IMPACT
According to Jatin Singh, Managing Director, Skymet Weather, “The El Niño conditions were on the rise in the Pacific Ocean till December last. The temperatures are now declining, and the probability of El Niño is also falling. This will reduce to about 50 per cent by the time monsoon arrives with a gradual decline thereafter as well. This means it is going to be devolving El Niño year.”Mahesh Palawat, Vice-President, Meteorology and Climate Change with Skymet, said that El Niño had been on the rise till December, thereby showing consistent drop.

Going by the early indications, this is going to be a devolving El Niño year. This trend would surely not lead to a drought, but bountiful rains, as excess rainfall is also ruled out. This could be one of the normal monsoon years, but with a slow start.

Initial readings are indicative of some risks attached to some pockets, said Palawat.

DETAILED REPORT AFTER MARCH 15
Officials from Skymet also noted that it is a bit early to share the complete details as data is still being collected and information is getting collated.

Skymet issues its detailed monsoon forecast between March 15 and April 15 every year and will stick to its deadline this year as well, said an official. 

The weather conditions that affect the southwest monsoon like Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) and other factors will be more clearer for further predictions, said Palawat. 

NO EL NINO?
- Mahesh Palawat, Vice-President, Meteorology and Climate Change with Skymet, said that El Niño had been on the rise till December, thereby showing consistent drop.
- Going by the early indications, this is going to be a devolving El Niño year.

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