Two leading Asian and a European agency have predicted normal to above-normal rain for the South Peninsula for February with the likely possibility of the unseasonal wet spell extending into March. At least two of them see a good pre-monsoon season (April-May) for the country as a whole followed by a strong start to the 2021 South-West monsoon.

These are early days to make an informed call on the type of weather likely panning out five to six months hence with the transitional phase of a prevailing La Nina in the tropical Pacific lending a seasonally unpredictable touch, but the near-unanimous view of these agencies makes for interesting study.

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Korean, Japanese, European

The agencies being tracked for this story are the Application Laboratory of the Japanese national forecaster Jamstec; the Busan, South Korea-based APEC Climate Centre; and the UK Met Office. Most of them point towards less than normally hot or a mild summer ahead for most of India.

The South Korean agency has forecast normal to above-normal rainfall for the South Peninsula during February-March-April. The rest of the country would witness normal rainfall except in the North-West (Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Punjab) where it would be below normal.

The UK Met Office agrees with this, and goes to extend the above-normal rainfall to West Maharashtra right up to Mumbai. For the month of February, the Korean agency sees excess rain for South Coastal Tamil Nadu and adjoining South Kerala while deficit is indicated for North-West India. The Japanese agency agrees with this outlook.

Below-normal rain for North-West

As for March, the Korean forecast continues to suggest above-normal rain for the South Peninsula, deficit in the North-West and normal rain for the rest of the country. The Japanese agency sees above-normal rain for not only the South Peninsula but also for East India (states of Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Bihar).

Outlook for April shows excess rainfall for extreme South Peninsula and normal for the rest of the country except in the North-West, says the Japanese agency. The Korean forecaster tends to see the pattern for the first pre-monsoon month more likely to mimic that of February and March.

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The Korean agency doesn’t stop there but goes on to predict above-normal rain for most of the country for May-June-July with excess rain indicated for Kerala, Coastal Karnataka and West Maharashtra along the West Coast right up to Mumbai and also for North Interior Karnataka, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.