El Nino Current Affairs - 2019

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Southwest Monsoon Likely to be Below Normal this Year

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.

Even the IMD has predicted weak El Nino conditions which would be prevalent in the early part of the summer season and likely to weaken thereafter.

Normal Rainfall

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.

IMD confirms weak El Nino Conditions

India Meteorological Department (IMD) has finally declared that weak El Nino conditions are prevalent in the equatorial Pacific Ocean. IMD predicts that these conditions are likely to persist in the early part of the summer season and likely to weaken thereafter.

The initial impact of a weak El Nino can already be seen with the rising temperatures and heat waves across the country.

Till Mid March IMD was maintaining that “warm ENSO neutral conditions are prevailing over equatorial Pacific Ocean” and that they are likely to remain near to the El Nino threshold value during the next two months. The current declaration marks the departure from its earlier predictions.

It is said that the prediction for El Nino has come after a delay since weather agencies in other countries had declared weak El Nino conditions at the beginning of 2019 viz.

  • Japan’s Meteorological Agency (JMA) in January had said that El Nino conditions were prevailing and that there was 80 per cent chance of an El Nino phenomenon staying till spring season of 2019.
  • Climate Prediction Centre (CPC) of the National Weather Service in the United States of America also concluded that weak El Nino conditions had formed in the equatorial Pacific Ocean around the same time as Japan.

Further an update by the CPC on March 14, 2019 states that “weak El Niño conditions are likely to continue through the Northern Hemisphere spring 2019 with an 80 per cent probability and summer with a 60 per cent probability”.