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Skymet forecasts ‘healthy normal’ monsoon in 2021

Photo for representational purpose.   | Photo Credit: SUSHIL KUMAR VERMA

Private weather forecast company, Skymet Weather, has said monsoon this year is likely to be 103% of the Long Period Average (LPA).

The agency classified it as a “healthy normal” in a press conference on Tuesday.

The LPA refers to the average all India monsoon rainfall of 88 cm, which is a 50-year mean.

The monsoon that concluded in 2020 was unique in that, with monsoon 2019, it was only the third time in a century that India saw back-to-back years of above normal rainfall, which is defined as rainfall that’s 5% above normal (105%).

This year’s forecast by Skymet falls a little short of the above normal mark.

“The odds of an El Nino, characterised by a heating of the equatorial central Pacific over half a degree, are low this year. Currently, the Pacific is in a [converse] La Nina mode, and while it’s expected to weaken a bit in the coming months, during the monsoon months [June-September], it’s forecast to increase,” said G.P. Sharma, president-Meteorology, Skymet Weather.

“Overall, neutral conditions are likely to prevail,” he said.

Well-distributed rains

An El Nino is historically associated, in many years, with a weakening of monsoon rainfall over India.

The monsoon is also expected to be fairly well-distributed, with even September (the month in which the monsoon starts to recede) expected to post 10% more rains than what’s normal.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD), which provides the official forecasts, is expected to announce its forecast later this month.

Last year, Skymet did not release its official monsoon forecast.

In 2019, Skymet had forecast below normal rains and the IMD “near normal” rains. In defiance of all these calculations, India posted a record 10% excess rains.

In terms of geographical risk, Skymet expects that the plains of north India, along with few parts of northeast India, to be at risk of being rain deficient through the season.

Also, interior parts of Karnataka face scare or scanty rains in the core monsoon months of July and August.

Along with the El Nino, another ocean variable, the Indian Ocean Dipole, characterised by a temperature gradient in the western and eastern Indian Ocean, is expected to be slightly on the negative.

A positive dipole usually aids the Indian monsoon.

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Printable version | May 7, 2021 4:48:34 PM |

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