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With El Nino in place, India staring at a poor monsoon this year


Published on: June 9, 2023 | Updated on: June 9, 2023


Hyderabad: The dreaded El Nino, the traditional Indian monsoon killer, is back, and the outlook for how the much-awaited southwest monsoon season will play out over the country is now up in the air.

"It will definitely be impacting the monsoon. This is not something that is going to happen in the future. It is already happening," Dr Akshay Deoras, research scientist at the National Centre for Atmospheric Science, department of meteorology, University of Reading, UK, said.

What EL NINO does to weather - from NOAA


"We have already been seeing its impact on the progression of the monsoon, and its onset over India," he told Deccan Chronicle.

The Indian Meteorological Department has said that the monsoon would be normal, something that Dr Deoras does not agree with. It set in over Kerala after an eight day delay.

The El Nino describes warmer than average sea surface temperatures in the central and eastern Pacific Ocean near the equator; its impact is felt, among others, on the monsoon in India.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administrator (NOAA), USA on Wednesday declared that the "expected El Nino has emerged." The NOAA’s Climate Prediction Centre issued an El Nino advisory, also on Wednesday saying that predictions for a strong El Nino that were arrived at in May, remain the same, "with an 84% chance of exceeding moderate strength. In summary, El Nino conditions are present and are expected to gradually strengthen into the Northern Hemisphere winter 2023-24."


Dr Deoras said there is a higher possibility of below normal rain this year, and the earlier advisory by the Indian Meteorological Department — that rainfall this monsoon over the country as a whole is most likely to be normal with 96 per cent to 104 per cent of Long Period Average — was misleading.

"The indications were there from May, and even IMD maps indicate below normal rains," he said, adding there were persistent subsidences over India and increased cloud formation over the Pacific that pointed to El Nino forming and the likelihood of a below normal monsoon season for India.

Meanwhile, an IMD official from Delhi said the next monsoon forecast would come towards the end of June which could give a clearer picture of how the monsoon outlook for the rest of the rainy season could be.

Soon after the IMD issued its long range forecast for the monsoon in April, private weather forecasted Skymet had predicted a below normal monsoon.