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Be prepared for a below normal monsoon in 2014: Skymet
Skymet, India's leading weather forecasting and agriculture risk solutions company has released its Monsoon foreshadow for 2014. Skymet expects the coming Monsoon to be 'below normal'. It has forecast the Monsoon at 94% (error margin of +/-4%) of the long period average (LPA) of 896 mm for the four-month period from June to September.

According to a press statement issued by Skymet, in terms of geographical risk, the weather company suggests that peninsular India will be at less risk through June, July, August and September (JJAS). There seems to be weakness in majority subdivisions in Northwest India (Gujarat, Saurashtra, Kutch, Punjab, Rajasthan and Haryana) and West- Central India (East MP, West MP, Chhattisgarh, Vidarbha, Marathwada, Madhya Maharshtra, Konkan & Goa, North Interior Karnataka and Telangana) during the whole season. August is expected to be the best month among the four, although negative. It appears that onset may be staggered.

According to Jatin Singh, CEO, Skymet, "This weakness in Monsoon could possibly be attributed to an evolving ENSO phenomenon.” The ENSO is a phenomenon wherein the Central and East Pacific ocean warms (El Nino) or cools (La Nina), in turn affecting the Monsoon. El-Nino is evolving as of now, but is expected to get arrested.

There is only a 30% chance of this phenomenon getting stronger. According to Mr. Singh, “If this El Niño was amplifying, then there would be a stronger chance of drought, like in 2009. This does not seem to be the case at this point in time.”

There is no clear signal about the emergence of Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) this year during monsoon.

According to Skymet, Monsoon probabilities for JJAS are:

• 0% chance of excess (seasonal rainfall that is more than 110% of LPA)

• 1% chance of above normal (seasonal rainfall that is between 105 to 110% OF LPA)

• 34% chance of normal (seasonal rainfall that is between 96 to 104% of LPA)

• 40% chance of below normal (seasonal rainfall that is between 90 to 95% of LPA)

• 25% chance of drought (seasonal rainfall that is less than 90% of LPA)

On a monthly scale, the precipitation foreshadow is as follows:

June – 90% of LPA (LPA = 174 mm)

• 68% chance of normal

• 7% chance of excess

• 25% chance of deficit

July – 94% of LPA (LPA = 285 mm)

• 59% chance of normal

• 18% chance of excess

• 23% chance of deficit

August – 98% of LPA (LPA = 253 mm)

• 70% chance of normal

• 14% chance of excess

• 16% chance of deficit

September – 90% of LPA (LPA = 184 mm)

• 59% chance of normal

• 12% chance of excess

• 29% chance of deficit

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