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GK of the day: South-West Monson prediction by IMD and El Nino impact on monsoon

GK of the day: South-West Monson prediction by IMD and El Nino impact on monsoon

The southwest monsoon covers most of the country and brings 70 per cent of India's annual rainfall. A forecast from the IMD, therefore, is important for governments, businesses and the general public due to its importance for the Indian economy.

India is likely to receive near-normal monsoon rains in 2019; according to Indian Meteorological Department’s (IMD) first long-range forecast for the south-west monsoon.

SOUTHWEST MONSOON

The onset of the southwest monsoon in Kerala begins around June 1, but the Andaman and Nicobar Islands start receiving rainfall from the third week of May.

The southwest monsoon covers most of the country and brings 70 per cent of India’s annual rainfall.

A forecast from the IMD, therefore, is important for governments, businesses and the general public due to its importance for the Indian economy.

WHAT DOES NORMAL MONSOON MEANS?

The IMD’s forecast is for the entire season and for the whole country; the department has not yet predicted region-wise or month-wise distribution of rainfall.

It has five categories of rainfall — normal or near normal, below normal, above normal, deficient and excess.

Near normal is when per cent departure of actual rainfall is +/-10% of LPA, that is, between 96-104% of LPA.

LONG PERIOD AVERAGE (LPA)

LPA is the average rainfall recorded from June to September, calculated during the 50-year period.

It is the benchmark while forecasting the quantitative rainfall for the monsoon season every year.

India receives an average of 89 cm of rainfall during the entire season — this is referred to as normal rainfall.

EL NINO IMPACT

El Niño occurs when surface temperatures in the equatorial Pacific Ocean see an unusual rise. Warmer temperatures suppress monsoon rainfall, while the opposite phenomenon of La Niña has been found to help bring good rainfall.

There is recent research that shows a rise in El Nino conditions due to climate change. El Nino has a bearing on India’s rainfall.

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