IMD retains normal monsoon forecast; deficient rains in June

New Delhi, May 26 (PTI) Barring the northwestern region, India is set to receive normal rainfall this monsoon season despite the El Nino phenomenon which is set to return after a three-year hiatus, the weather office said on Friday.

However, most parts of the country will witness deficient showers in June, except some pockets in peninsular regions such as south Karnataka and northern Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan and Ladakh, the India Meteorological Department said in its update of the long range forecast for the season.

The weather office said the warming of the equatorial Pacific Ocean has begun and there was a 90 per cent probability of development of the El Nino phenomenon, which is known to affect monsoon rains in India.

“Region wise, north west India is likely to see below normal rainfall, but all other regions, like central, northeast, and the southern peninsular region of India, will see normal rainfall,” said D.S. Pai of the IMD.

This includes the “core monsoon” region, comprising states that depend most heavily on the rains for agricultural purposes, he added.

The IMD’s forecast comes amid predictions by private forecasters that this monsoon will be worse than expected. On 26 May, The Weather Channel predicted monsoon to be 90 per cent of the LPA. In April, Skymet Weather, too, had  predicted a lower than normal monsoon season.

An El Nino, typically known to cause drier, drought prone weather, is likely to set in during the monsoon season. However, according to the IMD’s forecast, a positive Indian Ocean Dipole – another climate phenomenon – may simultaneously develop, which could counteract the effects of the El Nino.