03 March 2022, New Delhi: It is too early to take a call on the prospects of the 2022 South-West monsoon but the country can take comfort from the fact that there is practically nil probability of an El Nino rearing its head in the East Pacific once the ongoing La Nina runs its course.
The La Nina will gradually give in to neutral conditions (neither El Nino and or La Nina) into the pre-monsoon season (March-May) and at least into the middle of the South-West monsoon season that follows, according to Mrityunjay Mahapatra, Director-General, India Meteorological Department (IMD).
A La Nina (warmer West Pacific and cooler East) has coincided with a good monsoon while El Nino (cooler West Pacific and warmer East) has been associated with drought or a failed monsoon, though not without exceptions in both cases.
As for Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD), prevailing neutral conditions (neither positive or negative IOD) are likely to continue during the spring and summer seasons, Mahapatra said quoting the IMD’s Monsoon Mission Coupled Forecasting System.
Outlook for March
Addressing a virtual press conference on Tuesday, Mahapatra said rainfall expected during March is most likely to be normal (83-117 per cent of the long-period average) for the country as a whole.
But it will be below normal for most parts of North-West and Central India and some parts of North-East India. In contrast, it would be normal to above normal rainfall likely over many parts of the Peninsula.
The upcoming hot weather season (March to May) will likely see normal to above normal minimum (night) temperatures over many parts of North-West India, most parts of North-East India, some parts of Central India, the East Coast and some areas along the foothills of the Himalayas.
No intense heat waves
Intense heat waves will likely be conspicuous by their absence during this period across areas which are traditionally known to experience them.
Above normal maximum (day) temperatures are most likely over many areas from the West and adjoining areas of Central India, North-West India and the northernmost parts of North-Eeast India. But below normal day temperatures are expected over most parts of the South Peninsula, East and North-East India and the northern plains.