Southwest monsoon in 2021 likely to be normal: Skymet Weather

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New Delhi, Feb 1 (PTI) After two years, the southwest monsoon in 2021 is likely to be normal, private weather forecaster Skymet Weather has said on initial outlook for the rainfall season.

The southwest monsoon was above-normal in 2019 and 2020. La Nina, which is associated with the cooling of Pacific waters, was one of the important elements influencing the Indian monsoon.

'There is sufficient cooling in the Pacific Ocean now and La Niña conditions are at peak. The Sea Surface Temperatures (SSTs) are likely to rise soon and the probability of continued La Niña will fall,' the Skymet Weather said.

This will reduce to about 50 per cent when the monsoon arrives, it noted.

'This could be one of the normal monsoon years making a sound start and ending within the upper half of normal range. The range of normal rainfall is 96-104 per cent of LPA (880.6 mm). Initial readings are indicative of some risk attached to few pockets,' the Skymet Weather said.

Last year, monsoon was driven by La Niña which is peaking right now. It will decline during the spring and turn neutral later through the monsoon season, the weather agency said.

This also means that monsoon 2021 is going to be a devolving La Niña to start with, it added. 'This trend of Pacific Ocean temperatures may not lead to an above-normal or excess rainfall, but chances of a disfigured monsoon are also ruled out so far,' it added.

Skymet Weather had not issued monsoon forecast last year. India Meteorological Department, the country's official weather forecasting, usually issues its first outlook for the monsoon in April. PTI PR NSD