An El Nino event, which has a negative influence on the Indian monsoon, may never form in the next few months, India Meteorological Department (IMD) officials said on Thursday. It means good news for this year’s monsoon.
Currently, neutral ENSO conditions, neither an El Nino nor a La Nina, are prevailing. IMD officials said a host of factors, other than El Nino, determine the monsoon’s performance.
IMD’s ENSO bulletin released last month said that neutral conditions are prevailing over the equatorial Pacific Ocean indicating that a weak El Nino is likely to develop in the coming months and continue for a short period.
A to-be released ENSO bulletin shows that there are chances that El Nino may not form at all before monsoon, D S Pai, head of IMD, Pune’s climate research and services, told TOI on Thursday.
“El Nino has not established as yet. Whatever is the increase in the sea surface temperature over the Pacific may start reducing before the monsoon,” he added.
Forecasts till January 2019 showed a maximum probability for El Nino conditions from January-February-March to March-April-May seasons and its likely decrease thereafter. But the forecast in February 2019 indicates neutral ENSO conditions may continue.
According to the Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, in normal, non-El Niño conditions, the trade winds blow to the west along the equator from South America towards Asia in the tropical Pacific Ocean.
These winds pile up warm surface water off Asia, so that the sea surface is about 1/2 meter (11/2 feet) higher at Indonesia than at Ecuador in South America.
The sea surface temperature is about 8°C warmer off the coast of Asia than in the eastern Pacific, due to an upwelling of cold water from deeper levels in east Pacific.
The cooler water off South America is nutrient-rich, supporting high levels of primary productivity, diverse marine ecosystems, and major fisheries.
Clouds and rainfall are found in rising air over the warmest water near Asia, whereas the east Pacific is relatively dry.
This story was originally published in The Times of India
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