All may not be well this year for the Indian economy, which heavily depends on monsoon rains with majority of its population dependent on agriculture for livelihood. There is a 55 percent likelihood of below normal monsoon for the year 2019, private weather forecaster Skymet said today. What s worse, there is also a 15 percent probability of drought, Skymet Weather said.
Monsoon rainfall is likely to remain below normal for the four-month period from June to September, to the tune of 93 per cent (with an error margin of +/-5%) of the long period average (LPA) of 887 mm, said India s only private weather forecasting agency Skymet.
Further, is a zero chance of excess and above normal monsoon. The deficit is expected to be accumulated in June-July, Skymet said. East and central India along with some pockets of the south peninsula could be at risk, according to the report.
This is in contrast with a February report by the Skymet and India Meteorological Department (IMD), according to which monsoon rains in India were expected to be normal this year, provided there is no surprise on El-Nino front.
This is likely to dent prospects for farmers and the economic growth in the country as approximately half of the country s arable lands lack irrigation facilities. Below normal monsoon is particularly going to affect the sowing of Kharif crops. Crops like rice, cane, corn, cotton and soybean are produced during the monsoon season.
The deepening El-Nino in the Pacific ocean is being cited as the main reason behind the forecast as it is often been associated with a poor monsoon in India. There is an 80 per cent probability of El Nino during March-May and 60 percent during June-August, said managing director of Skymet Jatin Singh.
However, Skymet has also forecasted a 55 percent chance of normal monsoon rainfall in August and September and good rains for Odisha, Chhattisgarh and coastal Andhra Pradesh.
El Nino and La Nina are opposite phases of what is known as the El Ni o-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) cycle. The ENSO cycle is a term used to describe the fluctuations in temperature between the ocean and atmosphere in the east-central equatorial Pacific.
While La Nina is regarded as the cold phase of ENSO, the El Nino is regarded as the warm phase of ENSO. These deviations from normal surface temperatures can have large-scale impact not only on ocean processes, but also on the global climate, including India.