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El Nino will suppress rainfall in August: IMD

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Monday said that the second rainiest of the four monsoon months is likely to see ‘below normal’ rains after the torrential rains in July, and August. An intensifying El Nino and the absence of meteorological conditions that could have offset El Nino’s effects will combine to suppress rainfall in the second half of the monsoon, said IMD. Usually, August gets 25.49 cm of rainfall.

IMD’s statement on El Nino

“The rainfall averaged over the country as a whole during the second half of the monsoon season (August – September) is most likely to be normal (94-106% of the long period average (LPA)), with a tendency to be on the negative side of the normal…The rainfall averaged over the country as a whole during August 2023 is very likely to be below normal (<94% of LPA),” mentioned IMD. LPA refers to a 50-year- average called the Long Period Average.

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On June 30, the IMD forecast that July rainfall would be on the ‘positive side of normal’ or at the most, 6% of what is usual for the month. But, a series of ‘Western Disturbances’ (rain accentuating systems from Central Asia) and active monsoon conditions saw July receive nearly 13% more rain than what is typical for the month. Rainfall was expected to be subdued in northwest and southern India in July but the northwest received 25% more rain and in Southern India, 45% more rain, than normal. East and northeast India saw depressed rains with 32% less rain than what is normal.

In an analysis of the monsoon in July, the IMD said that Northwest India got the maximum rain it has ever received since 2001 with Chandigarh, several parts of Haryana, and Himachal Pradesh “breaking all-time records”. 

Before the monsoon commenced in June, the IMD forecasted rainfall for June-September to be 4% below normal. So far rains are 5% above what is usual for June and July combined. DS Pai, senior meteorologist, at IMD, told, “After the first week of August we will see a drying up of rainfall in most parts of India and monsoon activity will shift to the northeastern states, eastern India, and Himalayan foothill states.” July usually gets 28 cm of rainfall. “Along with the impact of El Nino (historically linked to a drying up of rain in north and northwest India), there are not too many supporting monsoon conditions to neutralize the effect of El Nino.”

Temperatures too are going to rise in August with ‘above normal’ temperatures over most parts of south Peninsula, east and north-east India, and some parts of northwest and Central India, the IMD said in a statement.

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