BHUBANESWAR: As rains have petered out from many parts of the country, Director-General of India Meteorological Department (IMD) Dr L S Rathore on Monday said an active Pacific region may have contributed to a weakened monsoon.
“With a large number of systems forming over the Pacific zone, it can have a bearing on the monsoon circulation,” the DG (Meteorology) told this paper on the sidelines of the inauguration of the IMD residential quarters here. When the global precipitation is normal and the Pacific region is active, Rathore said there has to be a weakened zone.
Although the country had recorded 16 per cent excess rainfall in June, the south-west monsoon went into a weak phase for the last 10 days and currently the excess showers stand eroded. Between June 1 and July 5, India has received 207.8 mm rain against the normal of 206.7 mm.
Rathore said formation of a number of systems over the Pacific and presence of clouding and convection over equatorial Pacific regions are what one sees during El Nino years. “Since this is an El Nino year and the Pacific region is active, obviously that will have a bearing on the monsoon circulation,” he said.
Asked if the active Pacific region could lead to formation of lesser number of systems over the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea which govern the monsoon, Rathore said a forecast to this effect is difficult but “when the Pacific is more active, normally, this part of the Indian Ocean is not very favourable for monsoon.”
A renowned agro-meteorologist, the IMD DG said an improvement in rainfall intensity is expected from Monday onwards and for the next 10 days the monsoon will become active (mostly over North and East). He allayed the apprehensions of moisture stress in agriculture activities saying the rains will keep the problems away.
He, however, stuck to the unimpressive monsoon forecast of IMD saying that an overall 12 per cent deficit is expected during the season. Although there will be some improvement, the factors are not in favour of a good monsoon. “First El Nino, now Madden Julian Oscillation and oceanic conditions are not in favour of a good monsoon,” he said.
Rathore said farmers must keep the rainfall anomalies in mind and go in for short-term crops and ones which require less water.