A day before India Meteorological Department (IMD) releases its official forecast for the southwest monsoon this year, a forum of weather experts on Wednesday said monsoon rains over broad areas of south Asia, including India, were likely to be below-normal, owing to the impact of the El Niño weather phenomenon.
“Below-normal rainfall is likely over broad areas of western, central and southwest parts of South Asia and some areas in the northeastern parts of the region,” South Asian Climate Outlook Forum said in a consensus statement, released after three-days of extensive deliberations between experts from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Bhutan, along with leading meteorologists from other countries.
A few IMD weather forecasters were also part of the deliberations. “There is strong consensus among experts about the possibility of the evolution of El Niño during the summer monsoon season. However, it is recognised there is uncertainty in the intensity of the El Niño,” the statement said.