Monsoon likely to be on 'lower side'

The ash effect

Monsoon likely to be on 'lower side'

According to the Indian Meteorological Department, “near normal” monsoon means rainfall would be 96-104 per cent of the long period average (88 cm) whereas “below normal” is 90-96 per cent rainfall.

“El Nino is evolving. That’s why our forecast could be on the lower side of the normal,” said a forecaster.

Even though weather scientists gathered at a recent monsoon conference in Pune suggested normal monsoon in 2010, the IMD takes a conservative view due to the El Nino factor, that contributed to 2009 drought. The good news is El Nino, an anomaly on the Pacific Oceans’s surface temperature, which plays havoc with the weather all over across the globe, have started weakening since 2009. Weather models currently indicate a near-neutral El Nino during the monsoon.

Uncertainty
However, scientists have cautioned that El Nino forecasts made in April have “considerable uncertainty.”

The volcanic ash over Europe could also impact the monsoon, though it has not been factored in the first forecast, which is under preparation.

“At the moment the eruption is only a background noise,” said a Pune-based weather scientist associated with the forecast preparation.

But volcanic eruptions from Eyjafjaliajokull glacier in Iceland could influence the monsoon in the long run as it cuts on solar radiation over a large area, said Ajit Tyagi, director general of Indian Meteorological Department.

''The ash’s impact will depend on how long it remains in the atmosphere and its density. Scientists are studying its impact on atmosphere, if there are any,” Tyagi said.

Notwithstanding El Nino and volcanic ash, the farmers are likely to get more preparatory time in this year’s monsoon forecast as IMD is set to introduce a prediction on the “break period” for 127 agro-climatic zones in two weeks in advance.

This will give farmers and policy planners at least 15 days to be ready for the harsh conditions. The forecast would be based on a scientific model that worked well in 2009, but failed to identify the gaps a year before.

Gloomy forecast
* “Near normal” monsoon means rainfall would be 96-104 per cent of the long period average (88 cm)

* “Below normal” is 90-96 per cent rainfall

* El Nino cited as a major reason for below normal rainfall 

* The volcanic ash over Europe could also impact the monsoon

* IMD is set to introduce a prediction on the “break period” for 127 agro-climatic zones in two weeks in advance

n This will give farmers and policy planners at least 15 days to be ready for the harsh conditions

DH Newsletter Privacy Policy Get the top news in your inbox
GET IT
Comments (+)