Skymet says initial signs indicate monsoon 2022 could be ‘normal’

LPA for the four-month southwest monsoon season that starts from June is 881 millimeters

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Skymet | Skymet monsoon forecast

Though early days, private weather forecasting agency Skymet on Monday said that the 2022 southwest monsoon could be ‘normal’ , finishing around the mid-way mark of the normal range of 96-104 per cent of the Long Period Average (LPA).

LPA for the four-month southwest monsoon season that starts from June is 881 millimeters.

“Monsoon has large inter-annual fluctuations in its arrival, intensity, duration, and withdrawal. It is rather early to decode all these aspects at this stage. But there are precursors to get an early glimpse and gauge its health during the four-month-long season,” Skymet said in a statement.

It added that back-to-back La Nina seen in the last two monsoon seasons had started shrinking now, which also means that monsoon 2022 is going to be a devolving La Nina to start with and turn neutral later.

That apart, the negative sea surface temperature anomalies in the equatorial Pacific Ocean are weakening.

And this warming inclination of the Pacific Ocean, albeit within neutral limits, may not lead to an above normal or excess rainfall but chances of a ‘corrupt’ monsoon are also ruled out, the weather forecasting agency said.

Skymet said though it is slightly premature to share the collated figures but suffice to present preliminary guidance. A more comprehensive analysis of the prospects of 2022 southwest monsoon will be released in April.

“After observing back-to-back La Nina during 2020 and 2021, the chances of yet another episode is ruled out, statistically. The Sea Surface Temperatures in the equatorial Pacific are likely to rise soon and the probability of continued La Nina will fall. However, ENSO predictability decreases during the upcoming ‘spring barrier’ and at times leads to an unstable ENSO regime. Early indications suggest it to be ‘neutral’ but leaning close to the negative threshold” GP Sharma, President – Meteorology and Climate Change at Skymet Weather said in a statement.

El Nino has had an overbearing impact on Indian rains and 80 percent of El Nino years have seen below-normal rains in the country, while 60 per cent have been outright drought years.

The southwest monsoon which starts from June and ends in September is a lifeline for Indian agriculture and is also a key determinant in the broader economic sense as it provides over 70 per cent of the annual precipitation that the country gets.

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