Monsoon seen weakening in September as El Nino fears loom


Chances of the rain-busting phenomenon of El Nino developing in September have increased, several international models indicate, which increases the threat of the monsoon weakening in its last month. Sea surface temperatures over the Pacific Ocean have consistently become warmer since April, but are still below the El Nino threshold, the Australian weather office said in its latest report. The number of climate models indicating Pacific waters to warm up to El Nino levels by September have increased to five from three a fortnight ago, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology said. This could be bad news for India as the monsoon has had a patchy record since its arrival at the end of May. After a vigorous start, the crucial weather phenomenon stopped advancing last week although it is now forecast to regain momentum in a few days. Meteorologists also say July and August, the two most crucial months for agriculture, are not likely to see El Nino conditions.

“Importantly, waters below the surface of the tropical Pacific are now normal than average — a common precursor to El Nino,” the Bureau said. In addition, all but one of the eight surveyed international climate models predict further warming of the Pacific sea surface temperatures over the coming months. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) in its latest El Nino assessment says that from September onwards, the probability for El Nino conditions is likely to increase gradually. El Nino currently remains neutral, but a likely development of the phenomenon in September, when the southwest monsoon usually retreats, may negatively impact the winter crop, even though the fear is not so acute, experts say.

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“El Nino will have an impact on winter crop. If it forms in September, it will have onemonth gap before it comes to India. It could be affecting NE monsoon, and to an extent that rabi sowing could be impacted,” said Madan Sabnavis, chief economist, CARE Ratings. 

Source : economictimes

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