WHILE THE India Meteorological Department (IMD) is likely to announce its monsoon forecast on Wednesday, private weather agency Skymet Weather on Tuesday said that drought-hit regions of Maharashtra are likely to receive a deficient monsoon this year.
Skymet, while releasing it’s regionwise forecast, said that monsoon this year may have a weak onset over the Indian sub-continent, resulting in a “sluggish start” and is likely to reach Kerala on June 4. The usual arrival date for monsoon in Andaman and Nicobar Islands is May 20, and for Kerala is June 1.
In the season’s first stage Long Range Forecast (LRF) issued in April, the IMD had said that the monsoon will be near normal and rainfall up to 96 per cent of the Long Period Average (LPA) is likely to be received over the country between June and September. The LPA of the monsoon over the country is 89 cm, calculated from 1951 to 2000.
While a weak El Nino is prevailing over Pacific Ocean, IMD officials continue to maintain that it will weaken in the coming months, August onwards.
Importantly, scientists have noted that the latent heat in the key Nino regions (regions along the equatorial Pacific Ocean), measured in terms of Sea Surface Temperatures (SSTs), have not crossed the threshold value as yet. “As per the latest reports tracking El Nino, the SSTs have remained stagnant and in some regions, even reported cooling, which is a positive indication so far,” said an official from IMD, Pune.
India defines average or near normal rainfall as between 96 per cent and 104 per cent of a 50-year average of 89 cm for the entire four-month (June to September) season. “All the four regions are going to witness lesser than normal rainfall this season. East and northeast India and central parts will be poorer than northwest India and South Peninsula. Onset of Monsoon will be around June 4. It seems that initial advancement of monsoon over peninsular India is going to be slow,” said Jatin Singh, Managing Director of Skymet.
The Skymet forecast said, “Southwest monsoon is likely to make its onset over Andaman and Nicobar Islands on May 22 and over Kerala on June 4 (with an error margin of two days).”
It added that other than Vidarbha and Marathwada, parts of central India including west Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat are likely to get deficient monsoon.