Monsoon 2023 Update:The country is expected to receive normal monsoon rains, except in the northwestern region, despite the possibility of a return of ‘El Nino’ after three years. The Meteorological Department (IMD) gave this information on Friday. The IMD, in its long-range forecast for the rainy season, said most parts of the country would receive deficient rainfall in June, except in peninsular regions, south Karnataka and some areas of north Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan and Ladakh. Water in the equatorial Pacific Ocean has started warming and there is a 90 per cent chance of El Nino conditions forming, which affects monsoon rains in India, the Meteorological Department said. However, favorable weather condition ‘IOD’ is likely to form over the Indian Ocean during Monsoon which will nullify the adverse effect of El Nino and extend Monsoon over most parts of the country.
D Shivananda Pai, head of IMD’s Environment Monitoring and Research Center (EMRC), told reporters, “This year there is El Nino and favorable IOD conditions. Deficient rainfall due to El Nino over central India is likely to be offset by a favorable IOD. But it may not be so in the case of northwest India.” In view of these weather conditions, the IMD has retained its forecast of normal monsoon for the rest of the country, except for the northwest region. It is noteworthy that Rajasthan, Haryana and Punjab included in the North-Western region are considered as the granaries of the country. The IMD said the long period average (LPA) for rainfall during June-September is likely to be 96 per cent, with an error margin of four per cent on the mean.
The IMD also said that the southwest monsoon is expected to be normal with 96-106 per cent in the ‘monsoon belt’ or rain-fed regions of the country. In April, the IMD forecast a normal monsoon for the country, predicting 96 per cent rainfall on a long-period average basis, with an error margin of five per cent. The IMD defines normal rainfall for the four-month southwest monsoon season as between 96 per cent and 104 per cent of the 50-year average rainfall of 87 cm. The southwest monsoon usually sets in over Kerala seven days before or after June 1. IMD has been issuing operational forecast for the date of onset of monsoon over Kerala since 2005. Last year, the monsoon reached Kerala on May 29. IMD said that the forecast for the onset date of monsoon over Kerala during the last 18 years (2005-2022) has proved correct except in 2015.
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