Prospects good for N-E monsoon, winter rains, says Japanese agency

Vinson Kurian THIRUVANANTHAPURAM | Updated on August 19, 2019 Published on August 19, 2019

The Application Laboratory of the Japanese national forecaster, Jamstec, has retained its outlook for a reasonably rainy September for India as a whole, followed by a productive North-East monsoon for the South Peninsula.

Following this, December 2019 to February 2020 should see normal rain for the South Peninsula and West India, while North-West, Central and East India would likely see above normal precipitation.

Thus, a reasonably good South-West monsoon (June-September) could be followed by a benevolent North-East monsoon (October to December), and later, an above-normal winter season as well.


These forecasts have been made in the Application Laboratory products based on August 1, and more or less concur with those made earlier by the Asia-Pacific Climate Centre based in Busan, South Korea.

The Japanese forecaster classified the current conditions prevailing in the tropical Pacific as El Nino-Modoki (pseudo-El Nino), a special flavour of the El Nino, which is known as a monsoon-killer, though with exceptions.

During an El Nino, the East Pacific Ocean warms up relative to the Central Pacific and the West Pacific. This is reversed during a Modoki event (Japanese word for similar yet different), when the Central Pacific warms up more.

Normally, during a Modoki event, rainfall over India gets hit more than it does during the standard El Nino event. But this year, a positive phase of the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) event seems to have neutralised this impact.

The IOD mimics the El Nino in the Indian Ocean, when sea temperatures see-saw between the East and West. In a positive IOD phase, the Western basin warms up more, to the benefit of the prevailing monsoon.

The Japanese forecaster said that the positive IOD phase had quickly emerged as early as in May and persists as on date. It will stay into the autumn, and then quickly decay in winter.


"We may observe the coincidence of a positive IOD and an El Niño Modoki-like state in summer and autumn; this is similar to the pattern observed in 1994 and 2018," a spokesman for the forecaster said.

During this winter, most parts of the globe will experience warmer-than-normal conditions, except for some parts of Alaska, the UK, Scandinavia, parts of North India, South-West China, and East Russia.

In India, the cold may affect Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Delhi, Haryana, Chandigarh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Bengal, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, East Madhya Pradesh, Vidarbha and Telangana.

The season would likely witness a wetter-than-normal condition over West Coastal Canada, South Chile, Southern parts of West Africa, and most parts of South-East Asia.

But Indonesia and Australia may experience extremely drier than normal conditions, thanks to the positive IOD and an El Nino Modoki-like state in the tropical Pacific occurring concurrently.

Wetter-than-normal conditions are predicted during the winter for West Coastal Canada, North-West US, North-East Brazil, parts of Southern Africa, Europe, India, and South China.

In contrast, East US, South-East Brazil, eastern parts of Southern Africa, Scandinavia, Western Australia, Indonesia and the Philippines may experience drier-than-normal conditions.

Published on August 19, 2019
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