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Expected rainfall cut by a tad as Pacific warms

Vinson Kurian

Thiruvananthapuram , July 2

Updated long-range forecast for the southwest monsoon has pegged back the rainfall realisation for the June-September season to 92 per cent of the long period average (LPA).

Earlier in April, the India Meteorological Department's (IMD) operational long-range forecast had said that the rainfall was likely to be 93 per cent of the LPA. In its update, the IMD said the realised rainfall over the country as a whole till June 28 is deficient by eight per cent.

The IMD blamed the cutback in expected rainfall on a warming trend in the equatorial Central Pacific, which is now below the El Nino thresholds. A brewing El Nino is considered inimical to the prospects of the prevailing monsoon. A continued warming trend in the Central Pacific would thus need to be closely watched.

But the rainfall for the crucial month of July has been predicted to be 97 per cent, as a well marked `low' in the Bay of Bengal intensified twice over to turn into a deep depression during the last 24 hours ending 8.30 a.m. on Sunday.

Forecasts for seasonal rainfall for the broad homogenous regions are (as a percentage of the respective LPA): Northwest India (91); Central India (90); South Peninsula (97) and Northeast India (94). These figures assume a model statistical error of plus or minus eight per cent.

Meanwhile, model predictions for the deep depression in the Bay heading for a landfall soon suggested that the system would maintain its intensity and initially move inland in a west-northwest direction and subsequently west.

WIDESPREAD FALL

Widespread with isolated heavy rainfall is expected over Gangetic West Bengal, Orissa, Coastal Andhra Pradesh and Jharkhand during the next 48 hours, a forecast by the National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (NCMRWF) said on Sunday.

Isolated heavy to very rainfall and extremely heavy rainfall have been indicated at a few places. The activity is likely to extend into Chhattisgarh, east Madhya Pradesh, Vidarbha, parts of east Uttar Pradesh and Telangana during the next three days. The ongoing rainfall over Konkan, Goa, madhya Maharashtra and South Gujarat is also likely to increase with heavy to very heavy falls predicted at few places.

The upper air cyclonic circulation over south Gujarat and North Konkan coasts is seen persisting, as does an offshore trough from North Konkan to Karnataka coast. Given these conditions, the monsoon is expected to remain in an active phase during the next five days.

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