Monsoon to be normal, El Nino to lose steam by May

Private forecaster Skymet report predicts normal rains while IMD report will be issued on April 23

GN Bureau | April 14, 2015


#Indian monsoon   #Baishaki   #Vishu   #rainfall   #weather   #El Nino   #agriculture   #Uttar Pradesh   #Akhilesh Yadav  

As various communities celebrate harvest festival like Baishaki and Vishu on Tuesday, it can be told that the Indian monsoon will be normal.

Even though the official word on the monsoon forecast from India Meteorological department (IMD) is expected by April 23, private weather forecaster Skymet says that the country will receive normal rains during the June-September rainfall season.

There are fears of El Nino effect on the Indian monsoon where as much as 60 per cent of the farmland is rain-fed. El Nino has a history of adversely impacting monsoon rain. In the past decade, 2002, 2004 and 2009 were drought years due to the phenomenon. El Nino is an oceanic phenomenon that emerges every three to seven years, leading to warm water temperatures around the Pacific coast of South America, thus affecting cloud formation.

However, Skymet says that El Nino will ebb next month and that means it will not affect June monsoon.  Its March forecast says that the monsoon rainfall might be 102 per cent of long-period average for the period June to September. Skymet expects a few dry patches in parts of northwest, central and south India but on the whole it is optimistic of normal rains in 2015.

The US agency — National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA), in its latest forecast on April 10 had stated a 70 per cent chance of an El Nino lasting through summer, up from the 50-50 per cent chance it had indicated a month ago. Last month, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology had stated that current conditions indicated there was about 50 per cent chance of El Nino forming in 2015.

Rainfall relief sought by UP
With 55 districts in Uttar Pradesh hit by untimely rains and hailstorm, state Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has declared a calamity and has written to prime minister Narendra Modi seeking Rs. 1,000 crores to immediately provide relief to farmers.

The Chief Minister reviewed the situation on Monday and had said that a financial assistance of Rs. five lakhs from the Chief Minister's fund will be provided to farmers who faced an unnatural death.

Yadav has also cancelled the leave of all divisional commissioners, district magistrates and others involved in relief works and has directed them to conduct the work in a prompt and transparent manner, he added.

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