Climate Forecast Current Affairs
Weather scientists have predicted normal monsoon in June-September 2018 monsoon season as prevailing conditions as well as neutral ENSO were favourable for good monsoon rainfall. India receives 89 cm of rainfall during four-month monsoon season, which is almost 75% of its annual rainfall. In 2017 monsoon season, country as whole had received rainfall that was 95% of its long-period average.
The most important favourable condition for good monsoon is near-neutral to neutral ENSO (El Nino Southern Oscillation) in equatorial Pacific Ocean, off coast of South America. Global climate models are showing near-neutral conditions prevailing in Pacific Ocean and it will remain this way through most of the year.
Moreover, La Niña conditions are present and equatorial sea surface temperatures (SSTs) are below average across central and eastern Pacific Ocean. The transition from La Niña to ENSO-neutral is most likely during March-May season, with neutral conditions likely to continue into second half of year. SST anomalies in eastern tropical pacific are ENSO-neutral during coming summer and hence normal monsoon is expected this year.
ENSO (El Nino Southern Oscillation)
ENSO refers to anomalies in SSTs in Pacific Ocean off coast of South America which has sometimes been observed to have near-decisive impact on monsoon rainfall. In El Nino, a warmer than usual SST is observed in Pacific Ocean off coast of South America . This condition is associated with suppressed monsoon rainfall in India. La Nina is opposite ENSO and is more favourable for monsoon. It is known to help monsoon rainfall in India. When anomalies (deviations from usual SST in the Pacific Ocean) are too small or absent, monsoon rainfall over India is normal.
India Meteorological Department (IMD) has forecasted above normal temperature in most parts of the country during 2017 summer season. The predictions were given by Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology in Pune.
The maximum temperatures in March to May 2017 are likely to be warmer by more than 1°C in north, northwest and parts of central India. In other parts, maximum temperature will be between 0.5 to 1°C more than the normal.
- Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Telangana will see warmer temperatures along with hill states J&K and Himachal Pradesh.
- The warmer summer forecast is in line with a generally warmer trend over previous months as the year 2016 was the warmest year in a century.
- The forecast shows a 47% probability of summer temperatures being above normal. It also mentions that there will increase in the frequency and duration of heat waves across the country.
- Minimum temperature in the season will also be higher by over a degree celcius in northern plains along with northwest India.
- Peninsular, northeastern and west central parts of the country will also experience minimum temperatures higher by 0.5°C to 1°C than normal.
- The rise in temperature can be attributed to increasing trends in the greenhouse gases and the warming of the sea surface temperatures over the equatorial Indian and Pacific Oceans.
- El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is expected to be in a neutral condition during summer months, thus unlikely to influence the temperatures in India.
About India Meteorological Department (IMD)
- IMD also referred to as the Met Department is the principal agency responsible for meteorological observations, weather forecasting and seismology in India.
- It functions under the Union Ministry of Earth Sciences of the Government of India. It headquartered in New Delhi and operates hundreds of observation stations across India.