El Nino is an irregular occurrence and complex series of climatic changes affecting the equatorial Pacific region and beyond every few years. It can be characterized by the appearance of unusual warmth of water and nutrient-poor water off northern Peru and Ecuador especially in late December. The reversal of wind patterns across the Pacific, drought in Australasia, and unseasonal heavy rain in South America are several effect of El Nino which bring atmospheric changes in particular area.
El Nino has its another version, called La Nina and both of these are caused by the sea surface temperature in the tropical part of the Pacific Ocean interacting with the atmosphere. The basic difference is El Nino appears in peak season where as La Nina appears during winters.
We spoke to weather forecaster Sky Met's director, Mahesh Palawat in a bid to know more on the impact of El Nino on rains in coming days, Australian Met department's report.
Q: An Australian Met Department reports says that El Nino may not be that strong in coming days. Do you confirm such reports?
Mahesh Palawat: It is neither amplifying nor mending in the months of July, August and September as reported. Already, El Nino is there, when the temperature rises by 0.5 or above in Eastern Pacific. El Nino was already there in April and it will get fixed by October. But it is not amplifying this time but revolving around. Amplifying means sudden rise which is not there, but it still has impact in South-East Asia in terms of Monsoon.
Q: Presently, how you are seeing the El Nino impact in India. Is it still strong or getting weak?
Mahesh Palawat: El Nino is Amplifying means sudden rise which is not there, but it still has impact in South-East Asia in terms of Monsoon. We do not agree with the statement that rainfall will not be affected by the El Nino this year because we have already seen below rainfall in the month of June which has deficit by 43 per cent. But now not only the rainfall has picked up since 2-3 days, gradually this deficit in all over India has come down to 36 per cent.
Q: If it is getting weak, then now can we expect normal rains?
Mahesh Palawat: In coming week there will be rainfall in Northern and Central India the deficit will further come down, but still El Nino effect will be there on South-West monsoon of India. And no rainfall will recover in other months. But in a month of September below rainfall had been predicted. This year rainfall will be below normal. But sometimes when El Nino amplify it affect South-West monsoon or the Northern one but this time affect will be there not as severe as it used to be. One can say that El Nino will effect monsoon in terms of below rainfall over entire Central and North-West India but with lesser rate of damages.
Q: If it is still strong, then does it mean that we are going to have lesser rains throughout the monsoon?
Mahesh Palawat: El Nino is only increasing. But it will weak around October but by that time monsoon will be over. The peak of El Nino will not affect South-West monsoon as much. But after July, August and September some impact will be there. That is why we have predicted that this year South-West monsoon will likely be 200 dot net. So, overall deficit will be around 10 to 11 per cent and we have predicted 91 percent of long period which is less than the predicted 93 per cent long period average, so affect will be there.