What is El Nino and how it affects the Indian monsoon?

What is El Nino and how it affects the Indian monsoon?

El nino definition geography

El Nino is a condition wherein the surface waters in the equatorial Pacific Ocean, off the coast of South America, become unusually warm. And its opposite condition, when it becomes unusually cold, is termed, LA Nina. Both these conditions impact the weather conditions worldwide, including the Indian monsoon. Further, if we talk about El nino effects on environment, El Nino is known to subdue rainfall during the monsoon months. To trace it in other words, let’s say, every 2 to 6 years, surface waters in east and central equatorial Pacific heat up beyond normal range. Changes in air currents follow, impacting weather in many parts of the globe, including Indian Land Mass. Now, these atmospheric changes linked to El Nino often disrupt flow of monsoon winds from ocean to Indian mainland.
The intensity of El Nino can also vary in scale as some could be stronger or weaker than others. One of the biggest factors in how strong an El Nino can become is the strength of the lower-level winds in the central Pacific. An El Nino pattern can generally last anywhere from a few months up to year and a half, however, instances have been recorded when El Nino weakens during the spring but strengthens again during the summer. it’s conceivable that El Nino lasts for more than a year, but typically they last between 6 to 8 months, as per reports. Another phenomenon, when neither El Nino nor LA Nina is underway that means the climate pattern is ENSO-Neutral, where in ENSO stands for El Nino-Southern Oscillation, describing a condition where warm and cool phases are part of a recurring climate pattern with occurrence across the section of the Pacific.
Studies suggest that El Nino has been playing around for quite a while now. While forecasts suggested the formation back in August 2018, the confirmations came only by February 2019. El Nino conditions in the Pacific Ocean are gradually expected to die down in July or August post mixed signals of weakening and strengthening over the past six months. A transition from El Nino to ENSO-neutral is expected in the next month or two, with ENSO-neutral most likely to continue through northern hemisphere fall and winter, according to the latest bulletin issued by the climate prediction centre of the national oceanic and atmospheric administration of the US.
While El Nino is expected to go away and monsoon may strengthen in the coming weeks, but refer to the records and data explained for the month of June, when rainfall in India had been 32% below normal, though it was not on account of El Nino which has remained weak since it developed at the start of the year but a continuing El Nino, even if weak, could be a cause for concern for the remaining season as well. As of now, the accumulated deficit in the rainfall this monsoon season for the country as a whole is 12%. The last couple of weeks, though, have brought good rainfall in many parts of the country and stating about one of the major concerns, the wet start in July has fostered the sowing of kharif crops, being 7.5% below the normal for the corresponding week. It is still a considerable improvement over the last week’s figures that showed a 27% lag in sowing activity. These figures, as released by Agriculture ministry, have shown an intense downfall in the lag proportion. Thus, another good reason for India due to a weak El Nino.
Hopefully, beginning next week, a wetter period is forecast in the southern and western States. however, the rainfall will remain well below normal for Central and northern India. moving forward, a pulse of moisture is expected to move between north and Central India from last week of July till the first week of August, and may ease down again. As there exists a deficit in monsoon rainfall so far, especially Central India will benefit from this wet phase.

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