Zee Media Bureau/Deepak Nagpal
New Delhi: There`s bad news for India on the weather front - the Australian weather bureau has reported that El Nino may be picking up and may onset earlier than predicted.
The UK Met Office has also concluded that El Nino weather phenomenon is almost certain to strike this year.
This spells bad news for India as El Nino, whose onset is expected in September, has the potential to adversely affect Monsoon, which has already been weak this year.
The country has just recorded the lowest rainfall June since 2009. As per the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), the country received 92.4 millimeters of rain in June - 43 percent less compared to the average between 1951 and 2000.
Making matters worse is the fact that Monsoon has been stuck western and central regions since June 15.
According to the IMD, the country will witness a deficient Monsoon rainfall of 7 percent below average due to the El Nino phenomenon.
The last time this weather phenomenon struck in 2009, India recorded 22 percent below 50-year average rainfall. That year had seen foodgrain output fall sharpely and inflation more than doubling from the previous year.
While the IMD has predicted a 60% probability of El Nino setting in and altering the Monsoon rainfall pattern this year, international reports have presented a little different picture and led the government to worry.
Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh has already warned of a drought-like situation in parts of western India due to the weak Monsoon.
The Met department believes that Monsoon rains are likely to revive in the eastern, central and northern parts of the country from July 6 and the regions may record above normal rainfall in the second week of this month.
El Nino phenomenon is witnessed every two to seven years when ocean water in the east equatorial Pacific become unusually warm and alters wind patterns. This leads the Southwest Monsoon to become weak.
During the years when El Nino strikes, parts of the world experience droughts while others record excessive rainfall.
Europe witnessed unprecedented snow storms during 2009 when El Nino last struck.