Will El Nino hit monsoon in second half of 2012?
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Last Updated: Monday, June 11, 2012, 16:47
  
Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: In what may hold good for the country’s economy, the El Nino and ENSO Neutral conditions have equal likelihood to hit during July, August and September months thus raising hope for the agriculture sector.

“The odds are evenly split, Indian experts tend to concur with the reading.” National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), a US federal agency focussed on oceans and atmospheric conditions, said in a statement.

"The evolving conditions, combined with model forecasts suggest that ENSO-neutral and El Nino are roughly equally likely during the late northern summer and fall. The forecast calls for ENSO-neutral conditions through JAS (July, August, September), followed by an approximately 50% likelihood for El Nino during the remainder of the year," the NOAA has said.

Near the end of each calendar year, ocean surface temperatures warm along the coasts of Ecuador and northern Peru. In the past, local residents referred to this annual warming as El Nino. La Nina is characterized by anomalously cool water in the central and east-central equatorial Pacific. El Nino and La Nina tend to alternate in an irregular cycle which is called ENSO (El Nino Southern Oscillation).

The ENSO has effects on South-West monsoon in India. During El Nino years, South West monsoon strength becomes weak whereas La Nina years have a good strength monsoon over India. Thus El Nino years are a curb for the Indian farmers disrupting their livelihood.

Weather models have contributed to the wavering predictions. Statistical ones favour neutral conditions while dynamical models point to an El Nino in the second half of 2012.

"We are expecting some kind of warming as per dynamical models. However, June and July will be ENSO neutral," said a senior weather analyst. “It is very difficult to make a precise judgment as there is no consensus so far. Dynamical models have better skills but we are not worried about El Nino conditions so far," he added.

"The evolving conditions, combined with model forecasts suggest that ENSO-neutral and El Nino are roughly equally likely during the late northern summer and fall. The forecast calls for ENSO-neutral conditions through JAS (July, August, September), followed by an approximately 50% likelihood for El Nino during the remainder of the year," the NOAA has said.

Near the end of each calendar year, ocean surface temperatures warm along the coasts of Ecuador and northern Peru. In the past, local residents referred to this annual warming as El Nino. La Nina is characterized by anomalously cool water in the central and east-central equatorial Pacific. El Nino and La Nina tend to alternate in an irregular cycle which is called ENSO (El Nino Southern Oscillation).

The ENSO has effects on South-West monsoon in India. During El Nino years, South West monsoon strength becomes weak whereas La Nina years have a good strength monsoon over India. Thus El Nino years are a curb for the Indian farmers disrupting their livelihood.

Indian Meteorological Department relies on predictions made by the foreign agencies mainly US and Australian weather departments.

"We are still in the process of analysing data and so the April forecast made by IMD holds true. IMD does not make forecasts about the El Nino and we have to rely on predictions made by foreign meteorological departments. These are expected only after June 15 and IMD will issue a revised forecast around June 25." Dr D S Pai, Director of long-range forecasting at IMD in Pune, said.

"ENSO-neutral conditions prevailed in May 2012, following the dissipation of La Nina in April. Sea surface temperatures (SSTs) are currently near average across most of the equatorial Pacific Ocean, and above-average in the far eastern Pacific," said NOAA.

NOAA is carefully monitoring the Sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies and warming conditions.

"A majority of models predict ENSO-neutral to continue through the June-August (JJA) season. Thereafter, most of the dynamical models predict El Nino to develop during JAS, while the statistical models tend to favour the continuation of ENSO-neutral," the forecast said.

With Agency Inputs


First Published: Monday, June 11, 2012, 12:21


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