India Records Normal Rainfall Despite El Nino – IMD Report

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The India Meteorological Department (IMD) announced that the country experienced normal rainfall from June to September, despite the presence of El Nino. The overall rainfall for the country during this period was 94.4% of the Long Period Average (LPA).

Although El Nino conditions emerged at the beginning of the year and intensified between March and May, IMD officials stated that various other factors, such as the Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO) and the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD), helped offset the negative impacts of El Nino.

In July, a weak El Nino was present, which later intensified to a moderate level in August and September, according to IMD. During the June to September period, there were 15 low-pressure systems formed, higher than the normal of 13, resulting in 65 days of influence from these systems compared to the usual 55 days.

Approximately 73% of the country’s geographical area, or 26 meteorological sub-divisions, experienced normal rainfall this season. However, about 9% of the area, mainly in Rajasthan and Gujarat, received excess rainfall.

Regions such as Kerala, south Karnataka, Nagaland, Mizoram, Tripura, Gangetic West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, and eastern Uttar Pradesh experienced significant rainfall deficiencies during certain months. For example, northeast India had normal rainfall only in August, with notable deficiencies in other months.

States like Manipur and Kerala were among the most rain-deficient, with the latter suffering due to low activity in the Arabian Sea. On the other hand, the Bay of Bengal remained more active, contributing to rainfall in various parts of the country.

August was the driest month this year, with a historic rainfall deficiency. Despite IMD’s warning of below-normal rainfall, the actual deficiency was around 36%. Some states, like Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, and Telangana, received exceptionally high rainfall.

Currently, moderate El Nino conditions persist, with forecasts indicating its continuation until March 2024. Additionally, the southwest monsoon is expected to withdraw from certain parts of India in the coming days.

IMD predicts normal rainfall during the upcoming northeast monsoon season, ranging from 88-112% of the LPA. This season is expected to benefit southern peninsular India. Anjali Marar from Raman Research Institute, Bengaluru, contributed to this article.

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