El Nino likely to return in July, may impact global weather

New Delhi: Mohapatra had said the weather office would issue an update on the southwest monsoon forecast towards the end of this month

BY | Thursday, 4 May, 2023
Representational image (PC: Md. Hasanuzzaman Himel)

After a rare triple-dip La Nina, there is a growing probability of the warming of the equatorial Pacific Ocean in the coming months, called the El Nino phenomenon that is associated with higher global temperatures, and it is likely to impact monsoon in India.

According to the United Nation’s (UN) World Meteorological Organization (WMO), El Nino is now predicted to emerge with a 60-per cent likelihood by July-end and an 80-per cent chance by the end of September.

“This will change the weather and climate patterns worldwide,” said Wilfran Moufouma Okia, the head of the WMO’s regional climate prediction services division, while addressing reporters in Geneva in Switzerland.

The indications of El Nino this year also bring the curtains down on one of the longest ever La Nina episodes in recorded history — only the third episode since 1950 to stretch into a third year.

La Nina refers to the phase of cooling of the sea-surface temperatures than normal.

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India Meteorological Department (IMD) Director General Mrutyunjay Mohapatra said last week that any effect the El Nino might have on monsoon will only be visible during the second half of the season.

“It is not necessary that an El Nino will lead to a bad monsoon. Of the 15 El Nino years from 1951 to 2022, there were six with normal to above normal rainfall,” he had said.

According to Mohapatra, a weather phenomenon called the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD), which is caused due to an anomaly in the sea-surface temperature of the Indian Ocean, also plays an important role in the performance of the southwest monsoon.

He had said the climate models used by the IMD have indicated a development of a positive IOD, wherein the western Indian Ocean is warmer than the eastern basin.

A positive IOD could moderate the negative effect El Nino has on monsoon in India.

Mohapatra had said the weather office would issue an update on the southwest monsoon forecast towards the end of this month.

In April, the IMD had forecast a normal monsoon season with 96 per cent rainfall of the Long Period Average of 87 cm rainfall.

Read more: Eastern India may experience heat wave in May, says IMD

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