Above-normal rain this monsoon: IMD

The period till June, however, is anticipated to witness a significantly high number of heat wave days

New Delhi: India is poised to experience above-normal monsoon rains this season, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) announced on Monday, calming fears that the intense summer heat and climatic changes could prolong the drought-like situation.

M. Ravichandran, secretary, ministry of earth sciences, said that the seasonal rainfall was expected to be 87 cm, or 106 per cent of the long-period average (LPA).

The period till June, however, is anticipated to witness a significantly high number of heat wave days.

The IMD plans to provide updates on the onset and distribution of monsoon rainfall over India in mid-May.

There are concerns about the uniform distribution of rain across the country. Climate change has exacerbated the variability of the rain-bearing system, leading to uncertainties in certain regions.

Mrutyunjay Mohapatra, IMD Director-General, said that parts of northwest, east, and northeast India may receive below-normal rainfall. There is ambiguity in the rainfall forecast for several states, including Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal.

Mohapatra said El Nino conditions, indicating a heating of the surface waters of the Pacific Ocean which adversely impacts the monsoon, were present and expected to last for the first half of the season. Models suggested a transition to La Nina conditions, the opposite of El Nino, by August-September, favouring rainfall.

Data from the 1951-2023 period showed that India experienced above-normal rainfall in the monsoon season on all the nine occasions when La Nina followed an El Nino event, Mohapatra said.

Other factors like positive Indian Ocean dipole conditions, coupled with low snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere and Eurasia, were favourable for the monsoon, Mohapatra added.

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