The monsoon is likely to be better than earlier expected, according to the Met department which revised its initial forecast today, upgrading it marginally. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) Director General, K J Ramesh, said the revision to 98 percent precipitation of the Long Period Average (LPA), was done because of reduced chances of occurrence of an El-Nino, a phenomenon associated with the heating of the Pacific waters.
In its initial forecast released in April, the IMD said the country could receive rainfall 96 per cent of the LPA. “We are expecting a good rainfall across the country this year. July is likely to receive 96 per cent of the LPA while August is expected to witness precipitation of 99 percent of the LPA,” Ramesh said.
Relief from the heat wave
Swept by a heatwave, the north Indian plains and several parts of central India are expected to witness a drop in the temperature in the next two days due to western disturbance, which will bring thundershowers to this belt.
The revised monsoon forecast
Ramesh said rainfall in central India is likely to be 100 percent of the Long Period Average (LPA) and 99 per cent in the southern peninsula, where several parts are reeling under drought.
Northeast and north-west India, a region that has been receiving deficient monsoon for the three consecutive years, is likely to get 96 percent of the rainfall of the LPA. Northwest India comprises major agricultural states like Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, apart from Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Jammu and Kashmir.
According to meteorological parlance, anything between 96-104 is considered as “normal” rainfall and below it is “deficient”. Rainfall in the range of 104 to 100 is “above normal” and anything that surpasses it is considered as “excess.” The IMD chief also allayed fears of occurrence of an El-Nino.
“In February, all weather models indicated a possibility of an El-Nino. However, the model readings now indicate neutral ENSO conditions are likely till the end of this year. “The US’ National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology have also ruled out chances of an El-Nino,” Ramesh said.
El-Nino is phenomena associated with heating up of the Pacific waters and is believed to have an adverse impact on the south-west monsoon. Monsoon supports more than half of the agriculture in the country and has a cascading effect on the economy.
Progress of monsoon
The south-west monsoon hit Kerala on May 30, two days ahead of scheduled onset date of June 1. Ramesh expressed satisfaction over the advancement of monsoon.
“It is expected to reach Goa on June 8, Mumbai and parts of West Bengal, Bihar and Jharkhand on June 13-14,” IMD chief said. He, however, declined to comment on when the moon is expected to hit Delhi. The normal onset date for monsoon in the national capital is June 29.
Ramesh said a circulation is expected to form over the Bay of Bengal and this will aid in the further advancement of monsoon.