Monsoon ends with 'normal' rainfall, El Nino effects mitigated by positive factors: IMD
New Delhi: The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has said that the four-month monsoon season concluded with India receiving "normal" rainfall, totalling 820 mm compared to the long-term average of 868.6 mm, according to a news agency report.
Rainfall between 94 and 106 percent of the long-term average is considered normal.
It's important to note that normal cumulative rainfall during the monsoon season doesn't guarantee an even distribution of precipitation across time and regions.
The Indian monsoon is subject to natural fluctuations and changes due to various factors, known as natural variability.
Research indicates that climate change is contributing to increased variability in the monsoon, leading to more extreme weather events and dry periods.
IMD Director General Mrutyunjay Mohapatra explained that in 2023, positive factors countered the effects of El Nino, resulting in 94.4 percent cumulative rainfall, which falls within the "normal" range.
Mohapatra told the media that 73 percent of sub-divisional areas recorded normal precipitation, while 18 percent experienced deficient rain.
Specifically, east and northeast India received 1,115 mm of rainfall compared to the normal 1,367.3 mm, indicating an 18 percent deficit.
Northwest India measured 593 mm of rainfall against a long-term average of 587.6 mm.
Central India, where agriculture heavily relies on monsoon rains, recorded 981.7 mm compared to the normal 978 mm.
The south peninsula saw an eight percent deficit.
This year, India experienced a rainfall deficit in June but saw excessive precipitation in July due to consecutive western disturbances over northwest India and a favorable phase of the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO), known for increasing convection in the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea.
The MJO is a large-scale atmospheric disturbance that originates in tropical Africa and moves eastward, typically lasting 30 to 60 days.
August 2023 was the driest month since 1901 and the hottest ever recorded in India, attributed to the strengthening of El Nino conditions. However, September brought an excess of rain due to multiple low-pressure systems and the positive phase of MJO.