Agriculture Industry

Skymet predicts ‘normal’ monsoon this year

22 February 2022, New Delhi: The south-west monsoon could be ‘normal’ this year according to the preliminary signs, Skymet said on Monday. The monsoon could finish around the mid-way mark of the normal range of 96-104 per cent of the long-period average (LPA), the private weather forecasting agency said.

LPA for the four-month south-west monsoon season that starts from June is 881 millimetres.

Monsoon has large interannual 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.

A more comprehensive analysis of the prospects of the 2022 south-west monsoon will be released in April.

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 agency said.

“After observing back-toback 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,” said GP Sharma, President Meteorology and Climate Change at Skymet Weather.

“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,” he added.

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

The south-west monsoon that starts from June and ends in September is a lifeline for Indian agriculture and is also akey determinant for the broader economy as it provides over 70 per cent of the annual precipitation that the country gets.

A normal monsoon will help to boost crop output in the country where about 60% of the population is dependent on agriculture