The ‘Godzilla’ El Nino, that was seen as the prime reason for poor monsoon rainfall in the last two years, has finally come to an end, the Australia Bureau of Meteorology has announced.
El Nino, an unusual warming of sea surface temperatures in equatorial Pacific Ocean, off the coast of Peru and Ecuador in South America, is known to influence weather events across the world, including the Indian monsoon rainfall. This current spell of El Nino was one of the longest and strongest ever, thus earning the name ‘Godzilla’.
“Sea surface temperatures across the tropical Pacific have cooled to neutral levels over the past fortnight, supported by much cooler-than-average waters beneath the surface,” the Australian bureau said in its latest El Nino bulletin on Tuesday.
It said there was little chance of sea surface getting warmer again this year, “in which case mid-May will mark the end of the 2015-16 El Nino”.
Other weather agencies have not yet announced the end of El Nino though they have been predicting that it will be over by the end of summer. The Climate Prediction Centre of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) of United States, in its latest bulletin on Monday, said that “El Nino is weakening”.
“Positive equatorial sea surface temperature anomalies (warming) are diminishing across the equatorial Pacific Ocean,” it said, adding that La Nina conditions, the opposite of El Nino, were “favoured to develop” during the summer of 2016. The Australian bureau also said that La Nina conditions were developing.
“International climate models indicate the tropical Pacific Ocean will continue to cool, with six of eight models suggesting La Nina is likely to form during the southern winter (June-August),” it said.
It said the Indian Ocean Dipole, a phenomenon similar to El Nino but in the Indian Ocean and with much more localised impact, was also in neutral conditions as of now. A positive IOD is known to assist the Indian monsoon.
After two years of depleted rainfall, this monsoon season is predicted to bring good rainfall. The Indian Met department has forecast above average rainfall in the four-month season of June to September. It has said India as a whole was likely to receive 106 per cent of normal rainfall during this season.
That good news has, however, been a bit tempered by the delay in the onset of monsoon over Kerala coast. The onset, whose normal date is June 1, is likely to happen around June 7 this year.
The monsoon is currently stationed around the Andaman and Nicobar Islands for the last few days, after having reached around May 20.