Monsoon: Skymet, a private agency, predicts a ‘normal’ monsoon

Monsoon 2022 is expected to be “normal,” though rainfall in August, the second wettest month, is expected to be “subdued,” according to private weather company Skymet.

According to Skymet, “normal” for the four-month period from June to September is 98 percent of the historical average of 88 cm. Throughout the season, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, and Tripura are likely to be rain-short. The northeastern states have a lot of rain on a regular basis.

Monsoon will be moderate in July

In the core monsoon months of July and August, rainfall will be moderate in the south, Kerala, and the north interior of Karnataka. On the other hand, the agency predicted that rainfall would be “above normal” in key Kharif crop regions such as Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh, as well as rainfed areas of Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh.

El Nino, which is marked by rising temperatures in the Central Pacific and decreased rainfall over India, was not expected to appear this year. Its polar opposite, known as a La Nina, aided two years of above-normal rainfall in 2019 and 2020, as well as “normal” rain in 2021.

“Back-to-back La Nina events have driven the last two monsoon seasons…the occurrence of El Nino, which normally corrupts the monsoon, is ruled out,” Skymet CEO Yogesh Patil said. He added that there would be bursts of heavy rain followed by long periods of dry weather.

Dipole in the Indian Ocean

The Indian Ocean dipole, whose “positive” phase corresponded to good rains and “negative” phase to the opposite, was another factor that influenced the monsoon. “The Indian Ocean Dipole is neutral, though it has a negative inclination…” Monsoon will have to battle IOD resistance while riding over ENSO — neutral conditions, especially in the second half of the season. This could result in “extreme variability in the monthly rainfall distribution,” according to the agency.

The monsoon’s first-half — June and July — was expected to be better than the second. June was expected to receive 7% more rain than usual, followed by 100% in July, 95% in August, and 90% in September when the monsoon begins to wane. In recent years, however, September has seen unusually heavy rains. 

The official forecasting agency in India, the India Meteorological Department (IMD), is expected to release its first forecast for the season later this week. The agency uses a multi-stage forecasting system, with a June update. 

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