What are the predictions of IMD for the coming winter?

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) is an agency of the Ministry of Earth science and it is responsible for meteorological observations, weather forecasting and seismology.

IMD has issued a statement titled “‘Seasonal Outlook for Temperatures” which brings out the weather forecast for the coming winter.

Forecast by IMD:

  • India is likely to experience a warmer winter for a second consecutive year due to the influence of El Nino over the Pacific Ocean.
  • The ongoing winter season will record above normal sub-divisional average temperatures across all meteorological sub-divisions.

Even the World Meteorological Organisation had warned that “2018 was on course to be among the warmest years [globally] on record.”

El Nino:

  • El Nino refers to a condition of warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures in the equatorial eastern Pacific off the coasts of Ecuador and Peru.
  • This abnormal warming leads to increased evaporation and concentrated cloud-formation activity around South America, causing heavy rain there.
  • The other end of tropical Pacific which includes Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Australia are deprived of convective currents, resulting in low rainfall and droughts, whose effects percolates to India as well.

El Nino does not necessarily translate into drought in India. 1994 was a “moderate” and 1997 a “strong” El Niño year, and in both these years, India had surplus monsoon rain. 2006 was a “weak” El Niño year and India saw normal rainfall.

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