La Nina crumbling, says Australian Met

Vinson Kurian Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on March 02, 2021

‘Neutral’ conditions seen during March-May

The 2020–21 La Nina event in the tropical Equatorial East Pacific has passed its peak and is now weakening, an update from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology. Climate model outlooks indicate the Equatorial Pacific will return to ‘neutral’ (neither LaNina nor El Nino) conditions during March to May.

The tropical Pacific Ocean sea surface temperatures are currently close to the La Nina threshold. But atmospheric indicators clearly remain at La Nina levels. Waters beneath the surface remain cooler than average, but the strength of cool anomalies has begun to ease, the Bureau said, analysing conditions.

La Nina effect on India monsoon

While La Nina’s influence on Australian rainfall typically wanes during March to May when events usually decay, it can still bring above average rainfall to parts of northern and eastern Australia during the final months of the wet season. The Indian Ocean Dipole, a proxy for EL Nino-La Nina, is currently in the neutral phase, the Bureau said.

La Nina, in which the western parts of the Pacific (nearest to the Indian sub-continent) warm up promoting cloudiness and stormy weather, is also therefore thought to aid a concurrent Indian monsoon, though without any direct cause-effect relationship. An El Nino represents its exact alter ego and has opposite indications.

Rains for parts of South India

The European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts has indicated that tropical wave of rain likely propelling across the Bay of Bengal would hit Sri Lanka and extreme South Peninsula not too far away, from this weekend (Friday/Saturday). The Sri Lankan Meteorological Department too has concurred.

The resulting precipitation, the first spell of India’s pre-monsoon season, is forecast to lash Kerala and the southern parts of adjoining Tamil Nadu into the next week. India Meteorological Department (IMD) seems to agree, suggesting that the spell may last until March 12 during when the hills of North-West and parts of the adjoining plains may also come witness rainfall as western disturbances check in.

Day temps above normal

Day temperatures may fall by 1-2 degrees Celsius over North-West and adjoining Central India during next two days even as a fresh western disturbance would affect the hills. It will bring isolated to scattered rainfall/snowfall with isolated thunderstorm/lightning over Jammu, Kashmir, Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand on Wednesday.

Another western disturbance may affect the hills from Friday night, triggering scattered to fairly widespread rainfall/snowfall from Saturday to Monday with maximum intensity on Monday. Isolated to scattered rainfall is also likely over parts of North-East India and the Andaman & Nicobar Islands, apparently as part of the rain wave affecting Sri Lanka and the South Indian Peninsula.

Published on March 02, 2021

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