IMD predicts better rainfall this monsoon

  • According to India Meteorological Department (IMD) the country is likely to get more rain than it was originally forecasted in April.
  • Rainfall would be ‘normal’ and around 98% of the Long Period Average (LPA), the IMD said in an update. This is 2% more than the 96% or ‘near normal’ rain it had forecast in April.
  • The LPA is a 50-year average of the monsoon rains in India.
  • In the update, the IMD also said rains in July and August, the most important monsoon months for the kharif crops, would be 96% and 99% respectively, of what was normal.
  • El Nino would be much weaker than anticipated.
  • The El Nino – characterised by surface waters of the equatorial Pacific warming up by more than half a degree – is known to dry up monsoon rain every six out of 10 years.
  • A positive Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) is said to buffer the impact of El Nino and contribute to better rains.
  • The IOD is a swing in surface temperatures that turns the western Indian Ocean alternately warmer and then colder than the eastern part of the ocean.)
  • In April 2017, the IMD shifted to using a new monsoon forecast system, called a dynamical model that works by supercomputers simulating the weather and extrapolating it.
  • It plans to make this as the base for all future forecasts, ranging from short-term weekly forecasts to the trajectory of the four-month- long monsoon.
  • However, for its June 2017 update, the IMD chose to rely on its workhorse statistical model that forecasts the monsoon based on six meteorological parameters.
  • The dynamical model, according to the IMD statement, showed monsoon rains to be 89 cm or 100% of the LPA. “In April, both models showed the same. It’s good for computing the all-India figure but not yet good at capturing the regional spread,” said Mr. Rajeevan. “In the next few years, we hope to move entirely into the dynamical mode.

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