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Showing posts from April 25, 2014

Preparing for a poor monsoon

With an El Niño brewing, there is disquiet over what that might mean for the coming monsoon. Many droughts experienced by this country have, after all, been associated with the exceptional warming of the equatorial waters of the Pacific that is characteristic of an El Niño. The forecast issued by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Thursday is in line with other predictions that warn of poor rains this year. Using a statistical model, the met agency has put a 33 per cent probability of the monsoon being ‘below normal’, a category where nationwide rainfall during the season is between 90 per cent and 96 per cent of the long-period average. That is almost twice the climatological probability based on how the monsoon fared in past years. The IMD forecast, however, also indicates a significantly enhanced risk this year of nationwide rainfall during the monsoon slipping below 90 per cent of the long-period average and turning ‘deficient’. Such a monsoon would, in the parlance used…