Increasing concern of El-Nino this year may cause lower rainfall to India

News & forecast for the Indian Monsoon this year

  • The model projections call for 80 per cent chance of El Nino during March-May, dropping to 60 per cent for June to August.
  • This means, it is going to be a devolving El Nino year, though retaining threshold values all through the season. Thus, Monsoon 2019 is likely to be below normal.
  • Indian’s top government weather official said last month that monsoon is likely to be a robust and healthy one this year provided there isn’t a surprise El Nino phenomenon

The monsoon season delivers about 70 per cent of India’s annual rainfall and is key to the success of the farm in India.

 Let’s compare the last El-Nino year with Indian monsoon & Crop Production in India.

We had a strong El-Nino year in 2015-16 and we can clearly analyse the impact on Indian monsoon & on crop production in India.

The Impact was in 2015 when El-Nino was developing, and food grain production also got lowered on poor monsoon the situation reversed in 2016 improved rainfall but food grain output declined.

However, this year the favourable factor could be IOD (Indian Ocean Dipole) that is likely to be in the neutral or positive phase during the Monsoon. Thus, it may be able to negate the impact of El Nino up to some extent and possibly would support rainfall during the second half of Monsoon.

And it may save the country from a poor monsoon as it may be able to absorb some of the El Niño blues and support rainfall in the second half of monsoon. IOD is essentially one of the key strong factors affecting monsoon in the country.

Model outlooks suggest the IOD is likely to remain neutral for the remainder of the Australian autumn, with the possibility of a positive IOD in winter.

In front of the temperature

Pre-Monsoon heat is considered as a trigger for enhancing Monsoon, while the heat was missing during March that recorded below average temperatures across the country. But there has been a rising trend in temperatures in April and its continuation in May is likely to pave way for intense heat before the onset of Monsoon.

In 2016 at the same time, the chance of El Nino Gradually decreasing during the spring and neutral is favoured by May-June-July 2016. The chance of la Nina increases by to 50% in Aug-Sep-Oct 2016.

The El-Nino condition is favoured to continue through fall 2019 with a diminishing chance (50 % in Oct- Nov- Dec) or weak to moderate El Nino continuing during April to June 80%, June to August (60%).

Clearly, both (2016 & 2019) the timing of El-Nino is in the different time period, and we are expecting the impact on Indian monsoon required more clarity in coming time as still IOD is in neutral and above average temperature forecast in April & May. While IMD forecast is pending and due in 20th of April.

But in front of Indian crop prospects, there is an increasing concern as agencies are predicting El-Nino year with 93% of LPA (+/-5%) below normal rainfall June through September as per Skymet.

but according to our analysis,  there is continuously no normal rainfall in the country from the past 4 years. last year it was -9% below normal and rains were erratic in many regions, resulting the low level of water in the reservoir and almost dry condition in west India, Maharashtra & Gujarat. If the same situation continues till this year than agriculture may suffer in both Kharif & Rabi season of the country.