India to face a below normal rainfall during the June to September south-west monsoon season, said private weather forecaster Skymet.
Rains during June to September are likely to be 95% (with an error margin of +/-5%) of the long period average (LPA) of 887 mm with Gujarat, Konkan & Goa, Madhya Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu likely to see rains below their normal quota.
The chances of drought, or rains below 10% of the seasonal quota, are about 25%.
Over three months, international weather models have been warning of an El Nino, characterised by warming surface waters in the equatorial Pacific during the latter part of this year. El Nino is known to dry up monsoon rains six out of 10 times.
However, a favourable form of a current in the Indian Ocean, called the Indian Ocean Dipole, is widely expected to counter the effects of the El Nino during the monsoon.
India Meteorological Department (IMD) will provide their first forecast about the south-west monsoon on 20 April, giving information about the El Nino as well.
According to Jatin Singh, CEO, Skymet, "Evolving El Nino may start affecting the monsoon performance July onward. Nevertheless, the presence of positive Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) could help in tempering the adverse impact of El Niño.”
According to Skymet, June will have a monsoon of about 102% of its LPA, which will be normal. September, too, would have a rainfall of 96% of its LPA. July and August will have below normal rainfall with 94% and 93% of their respective LPA.
This year is the fourth consecutive year, when monsoon rains are not likely to surpass the normal shower.