Met predicts deficient monsoon

Met predicts deficient monsoon

The Met department has predicted a “deficient” monsoon for 2015, downgrading its April forecast of “below normal” rainfall.

“The rainfall for the country as a whole is likely to be deficient with 88 per cent of the average rainfall. Lets pray to god that the revised forecast does not come true,” Science and Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan said after inaugurating a super-computing facility for weather forecast in Noida.

In April, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) warned that the country was going to receive 93 per cent of the average rainfall (89 cm), which as per the IMD falls in the “below normal” category.

The second forecast of 88 per cent rainfall means the country is nearly sure of experiencing “deficient” monsoon. As the new forecast comes with an error margin of four per cent, it suggests that actual rainfall could vary between 84 to 92 per cent.

In other words, the rainfall pattern can vary between close to a drought situation and below normal rainfall. There is an overwhelming 93 per cent probability of a weak monsoon, mainly due to the El Nino effect. A unusual rise in the sea surface temperature in the Pacific Ocean, El Nino is known to disrupt weather conditions all over the world. In the last one month, it gained strength to become moderate.

“El Nino will be moderately strong and persistent throughout the monsoon season, triggering rainfall shortage,” D S Pai, IMD lead monsoon forecaster told Deccan Herald.

The worst hit would be the northwest, including Punjab and Haryana, where the forecast is of 85 per cent of rainfall with eight per cent error margin. “The weather forecast models are showing below rainfall in all the four regions – northwest (85 per cent), northeast (90 per cent), central (90 per cent) and peninsular India (92 per cent),” Pai said.

Agriculturally crucial months of July and August are expected to receive less than normal rainfall at 92 and 90 per cent respectively.

While IMD pushed back the monsoon onset date to June 5, Pai said it would be a weak monsoon. As irrigation is available only in 40 per cent of the area, rest of the country may experience drought like conditions. “The onset has been delayed by a week already and there is no certainty on when the ideal parameters will be in place for the monsoon to arrive in most parts of the country,” the minister added.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi reviewed the situation on Sunday with his Cabinet colleagues and asked them to prepare contingency plans to cope with the deficient monsoon condition.
DH News Service

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