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Above-normal monsoon rainfall predicted in south Asia

New Delhi,  Above-normal rainfall is expected during the 2024 southwest monsoon season over most parts of south Asia, the South Asian Climate Outlook Forum said on Tuesday.

The forecast follows the prediction of above-normal rain in the monsoon season in India on the back of favourable La Nina conditions, expected to set in by August-September.

“Above normal rainfall is most likely during the 2024 southwest monsoon season (June-September) over most parts of south Asia, except some areas over northern, eastern, and northeastern parts of the region, where below-normal rainfall is most likely,” the South Asian Climate Outlook Forum (SASCOF) said.

Above-normal maximum and minimum temperatures are predicted over most parts of south Asia during the season, except a few areas over the southeastern part of the region where normal temperatures are most likely.

This regional climate outlook for the 2024 southwest monsoon season has been developed by all nine National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) of south Asia with support from international experts at the 28th session of SASCOF-28, conducted online.

SASCOF said moderate El Nino conditions are prevailing at present. ENSO (El Nino-Southern Oscillation) neutral conditions are expected in the first half of the monsoon season. Thereafter, La Nina conditions may set in by the second half.

El Nino conditions — periodic warming of surface waters in the central Pacific Ocean — are associated with weaker monsoon winds and drier conditions in India.

La Nina conditions — the antithesis of El Nino — are the dominant factor in the likelihood of “above-normal” rainfall during the monsoon season, DS Pai, a senior scientist at the India Meteorological Department (IMD), told PTI.

Positive Indian Ocean Dipole conditions, favourable for the Indian monsoon, are predicted in the later part of the season. Additionally, the snow cover in the northern hemisphere is low. The northern hemisphere winter and spring snow cover extent generally have an inverse relationship with the subsequent southwest monsoon rainfall over south Asia.

Earlier this month, the IMD said the seasonal rainfall in India will be on the higher side of ‘above-normal’ and pegged it at 106 per cent of the long-period average (87 cm). PTI