IMD Predicts Above-Normal Monsoon In India This Year

New Delhi: The mercury is soaring, the country is already facing a torrid summer. But there is a silver lining.

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India Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Monday that above-normal rainfall is likely during the ensuing monsoon with cumulative rainfall estimated at 106 per cent of the long-period average of 87 cm.

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IMD chief Mrutyunjay Mohapatra said at a press conference data from 1951 to 2023 revealed that India experienced above-normal monsoon rainfall on nine occasions when La Nina followed the El Nino event.

“India is likely to see above-normal rainfall in the four-month monsoon season (June to September) with cumulative rainfall estimated at 106 per cent of the long-period average (87 cm),” Mohapatra stated.

In 2023, an El Nino year, India received “below average” cumulative rainfall of 820 mm compared to long-period average of 868.6 mm.

In the four years preceding 2023, India recorded “normal” and “above normal” rainfall, IMD chief observed.

El Nino conditions, which refers to periodic warming of surface waters in central Pacific Ocean, are associated with weaker monsoon winds and drier conditions in India.

Currently, moderate El Nino conditions are prevailing over equatorial Pacific region.

As per forecasts of latest Monsoon Mission Climate Forecast System (MMCFS) and other climate models, El Nino conditions are likely to further weaken to neutral El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) conditions during the early part of monsoon season, IMD said.

The weather department added that La Nina conditions are likely to develop during the second half of monsoon season.

IMD will issue updated rainfall monsoon season forecasts in the last week of May.

India’s agriculture, which accounts for 14% of the country’s GDP, is heavily dependent on southwest monsoon as it delivers 70% of the annual rainfall.

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