El Nino Current Affairs - 2019
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The India Meteorological Department (IMD) predicts near-normal monsoon, at 96% of long period average. IMD in its first stage operational forecast for the southwest monsoon season (June to September) rainfall has made the following predictions:
- The South-west monsoon seasonal (June to September) rainfall over the country as a whole is likely to be near normal.
- The monsoon seasonal (June to September) rainfall is likely to be 96% of the Long Period Average (LPA) with a model error of 5%.
- The LPA of the season rainfall over the country as a whole for the period 1951-2000 was 89 cm.
- Even though weak El Nino conditions are likely to prevail during the monsoon season its intensity is expected to be reduced in the later part of the season.
IMD will issue the second stage Monsoon-2019 Forecast during the first week of June 2019.
Monsoon Predictions are made using a set of algorithms and climate models, both analytical and numerical. Monsoon Mission, an initiative launched by the Ministry of Earth Sciences in 2017 has two state-of-the-art dynamical prediction systems for short range to medium, extended range and seasonal forecasts.
Meteorologists keep a track on five important parameters that can dictate the fate of India monsoon:
- The gradient in the sea surface temperatures between the North Atlantic and North Pacific Oceans.
- The sea surface temperature over the Equatorial Indian Ocean.
- Sea-level pressure in East Asia.
- Air temperature of the land surface in Northwest Europe.
- The heat content over Equatorial Pacific measured by its warm water volume.
Studies have proposed including various other indicators, such as surface pressure over the Arabian Sea, in such forecasting models to eliminate biases and to make the predictions accurate.
Independent weather forecaster Skymet has made the following predictions about the Southwest Monsoons:
- India could face its third consecutive below-normal monsoon this season, and the rainfall is expected to be 93% of the long-period average.
- With all likelihood of El Niño playing a disruptive role, there is only a 30% chance of normal rain during this year’s southwest monsoon, which delivers about 70% of the country’s annual rainfall and there is a 55% probability of below normal rainfall this year.
- June-to-September southwest monsoon season is expected to begin on a lean note and the deficit is expected to spill over into July.
- Rainfall is expected to get better in the second half of the season as the El Niño phenomenon is expected to weaken.
- August and September are likely to witness normal showers and Odisha, Chhattisgarh and coastal Andhra Pradesh are most likely to see normal rains throughout the season.
Rainfall in the range of 96-104% of the long-period average of 89 cm is considered normal, while a range of 90-95% of this average is considered below normal.