Agri Business

Early forecasts favour normal pre-monsoon, monsoon seasons

| | Updated on: Feb 23, 2011
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India might just be looking at enhanced probabilities for normal to slightly above normal rainfall during both the pre-monsoon and monsoon seasons as per earliest available assessment by leading global long-range weather forecasters.

These are early indicators subject to updates on a month-to-month basis and should be viewed with caution, independent analysts warn.

The La Nina conditions in the equatorial and east Pacific, which are normally identified with a successful Indian monsoon without direct cause-effect relationship, has peaked over.

The hyper-active equatorial Pacific is now expected to relapse into what is said to be ‘neutral’ conditions (neither La Nina nor contra-indicative El Nino) to coincide with the Indian monsoon.

But the very fact that the probabilities of much-feared El Nino, whose tenure in the warmer east and equatorial Pacific has in the past suppressed rainfall over this part of the world, may not rear its head is reassuring enough, according to one expert.

The last word has not been said yet, he cautioned.

But global models – including the International Research Institute for Climate and Society at Columbia University; the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts; the UK Met Office; and the Tokyo Climate Centre as well as the Regional Institute for Global Change under the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology - projected a normal to slightly above-normal Indian monsoon, 2011.

There are bound to be individual pockets of below-normal rainfall, though, a list of which would be closely watched. Global models differed in their interpretation of the spatial distribution of rainfall.

Some of them indicate southern peninsula may witness some deficiency because of anticipated above-normal pre-monsoon (March-April-May) showers and incidental cooling of the landmass.

Some others see the regional deficit panning out in a pattern reminiscent of the season before (2010 monsoon) that saw east, east-central and northeast India bearing the brunt of the deficit.

A third opinion looked to the usual suspect, northwest India, to throw up a deficit but without attributing any specific reason.

Published on February 24, 2011

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