Forecasters Fear El Nino This Year
El Nino not good for monsoon; forecasters, however, said a clear picture would emerge only after a few months
New Delhi: The rain-boosting La Nina phenomenon is completely ruled out this year and conditions are likely to remain neutral or turn toward the feared El Nino, which is not good for the monsoon, but forecasters said a clear picture would appear only after a few months.
Changes in temperature in the equatorial Pacific Ocean, which scientists call El Nino Southern Oscillation, are a key influence on the monsoon. Warmer temperature create the El Nino phenomenon that can disrupt the monsoon, while cooler water in the region increases rainfall in South Asia. “The El Niño — Southern Oscillation (ENSO) remains neutral, with virtually all indicators close to their average values. In recent weeks, the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean has shown surface warming, and climate models suggest this warming is likely to continue…,” the Australian weather office said in its weekly assessment of the phenomenon. However, it said at this time of the year, various climate models vary significantly, because of which the recent trend in warming of the central Pacific had to be considered with caution. “Hence, either neutral or El Niño are considered the most likely…,” it said. Indian meteorologists agreed that it was premature to forecast El Nino striking this summer. The weather office considers various parameters in making its monsoon forecast, which in re-
Warmer temperature create the El Nino that can disrupt the monsoon, while cooler water in the region increases rainfall in South Asia
cent years has been much more accurate than predictions by private meteorologists.
India received close to normal monsoon rainfall in 2016 after two consecutive years of drought, which ravaged the rural econo- my and aggravated farmer distress. The dreaded El Nino phenomenon was a factor in erratic rainfall. Meteorologists say El Nino has often disrupted monsoon rainfall but there have been years when India has received good rainfall even in an El Nino year.
The monsoon is crucial for Indian agriculture, which directly or indirectly provides livelihood to the majority of people in the country and boosts rural demand for various goods and services.
India received close to normal monsoon rainfall in 2016 after two consecutive years of drought ET ARCHIVE