IMD predicts normal monsoon this year

Published: Apr 16, 2021, 10:50 pm IST

The Samikhsya Bureau

NEW DELHI: The India Meteorological Department (IMD) today announced that it expects monsoon rainfall to be normal this year.

“Southwest monsoon seasonal (June to September) rainfall over the country as a whole is likely to be normal (96-104%),” the IMD said in its first stage Long Range Forecast (LRF) for monsoons.

Addressing a press conference through video link, Secretary of Ministry of Earth Sciences Dr. M. Rajeevan released the IMD’s Long Range Forecast for the 2021 Southwest Monsoon Season Rainfall. Director General of IMD, Dr. M. Mohapatra was also present.

Dr. Rajeevan said that quantitatively, the monsoon seasonal (June to September) rainfall is likely to be 98 % of the Long Period Average (LPA) with a model error of 5%.

Dr. Rajeevan pointed out that Neutral El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) conditions are prevailing over the Pacific Ocean and Neutral Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) conditions are prevailing over the Indian Ocean.

Some climate model forecasts indicate these conditions are likely to persist during the ensuing monsoon season. As sea surface temperature (SST) conditions over the Pacific and Indian Oceans are known to have strong influence on Indian monsoon, IMD is carefully monitoring the evolution of sea surface conditions over the Pacific and the Indian oceans, he added.

Dr. Rajeevan said that La Niña conditions are likely to prevail only till May so we will transition to ENSO (El Nino and Southern Oscillation) neutral conditions during monsoon. There is very little chance of El Niño conditions developing during monsoon months. There is a very small probability of Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) negative condition developing during monsoon. So these conditions are likely to lead to a normal monsoon this year, he explained.

Director General of IMD, Dr. M. Mohapatra explained that IOD is characterised by warmer sea surface temperature in the equatorial Indian Ocean; positive IOD conditions are usually associated with normal or above normal monsoon.

He said, while most of the country will have normal monsoon rains, some parts of east and northeast India including Jharkhand, Odisha, Bihar and the northeastern states are likely to record below normal rains this year according to IMD’s analysis.

The southwest monsoon season, that replenishes the country’s farm-dependent economy, first hits the southern tip of Kerala usually in the first week of June and retreats from Rajasthan by September.