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India Likely to Witness Above Normal Monsoon Rainfall in 2024

New Delhi: Dr. M. Ravichandran, Secretary of the Ministry of Earth Sciences, announced on Monday that India is expected to experience above normal rainfall during the upcoming southwest monsoon season, spanning from June to September 2024. Addressing the media at a press conference held at the National Media Centre, Dr. Ravichandran revealed that the forecast predicts rainfall of 106% of the Long Period Average (LPA) with a model error of ± 5%. The LPA, based on data from 1971 to 2020, stands at 87 cm for the season.

The forecast, based on both dynamical and statistical models, indicates above normal rainfall over most parts of the country, with some exceptions in Northwest, East, and Northeast India where below normal rainfall is expected. Dr. Ravichandran attributed the anticipated La Niña conditions, positive Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD), and below normal snow cover over the northern hemisphere as favorable factors for the rainfall during the southwest monsoon season.

Presenting a detailed analysis, Dr. Mrutyunjay Mohapatra, Director-General of the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), highlighted the prevailing moderate El Niño conditions in the equatorial Pacific region. However, he mentioned that the climate model forecasts anticipate a transition to neutral conditions at the beginning of the monsoon season, followed by the onset of La Niña conditions during the latter half.

Dr. Mohapatra further informed the media about the current neutral IOD conditions and the likelihood of positive IOD conditions developing during the monsoon season. He emphasized IMD’s vigilant monitoring of sea surface temperature conditions over the Pacific and Indian Ocean basins, as they strongly influence the Indian Monsoon.

Drawing attention to the snow cover extent over the northern hemisphere during the last three months (January to March 2024), Dr. Mohapatra explained its below-normal status, indicating the likelihood of above-normal rainfall during the monsoon season. IMD plans to issue updated forecasts for the monsoon season rainfall by the last week of May 2024.

The Probability forecasts for the Seasonal (June to September 2024) rainfall, depicted in a table, highlight the tercile categories (below normal, normal, and above normal) for the seasonal rainfall over India during the monsoon season.

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