India witnessed driest conditions since 1901 in Aug: IMD

New Delhi, Aug 30 : India has witnessed driest weather conditions since 1901 in August this year, a senior meteorologist said, adding it was a clear result of the intensifying El Nino conditions.

“Rainfall in August was subdued due to the influence of El Nino, and this is expected to adversely affect rainfall patterns in September,” stated a senior representative from the India Meteorological Department (IMD).

Additionally, meteorological experts from India are set to unveil their forecast for September on August 31.

According to a senior IMD official, India is poised to wrap up the June-September monsoon season with a deficit of no less than 8 per cent in rainfall, marking the largest such shortage since 2015, a period during which El Nino similarly led to diminished precipitation.

“The southwest monsoon will commence its retreat from northern India on or before September 17. The past four Septembers have witnessed rainfall levels above the average due to the prolonged departure of the monsoon,” he said.

In the upcoming month, northern and eastern states may experience rainfall below the normal levels. 

Conversely, the southern peninsula could see a resurgence in rainfall.

Earlier, the IMD had said that there are high probabilities for the development of El Nino conditions over the equatorial Pacific Ocean and positive Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) conditions over the Indian Ocean during July to September 2023.

A senior IMD official said that as sea surface temperature conditions over the Pacific and the Indian Oceans are known to have strong influence on Indian monsoon and the weather department is carefully monitoring the evolution of sea surface conditions over these Ocean basins.

The IMD said that currently, warm El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) neutral conditions are prevailing over the equatorial Pacific and the sea surface temperatures (SSTs) across most of the equatorial Pacific Ocean are warmer than normal and near El Nino threshold value.

“The latest forecasts from Monsoon Mission Climate Forecasting System (MMCFS) and other global models indicate high probabilities for the El Nino conditions to develop during the middle of the monsoon season and continue till the first quarter of 2024,” the IMD said.

“In addition to ENSO conditions over Pacific, other factors such as the Indian Ocean SSTs have also some influence on Indian monsoon. Currently, neutral IOD conditions are prevailing over Indian Ocean,” it said.