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Alarming! EL Nino may ‘cloud’ monsoon rainfall in Odisha

State will receive less amount of rain fall and witness drought conditions likely owing to warmer Pacific ocean

Bhubaneswar: Odisha’s tryst with climatic destiny seems to continue. Post the Fani catastrophe, the State could witness drought and a hotter June as Monsoon rains seem to play truant with Odisha courtesy the manifestation of El Nino conditions across most of the equatorial Pacific Ocean.

As per Climate Prediction Centre’s latest ENSO (El Nino Southern Oscillation) alert, there is a 70 per cent probability of EL Nino continuing through the Northern hemisphere in summer 2019. All the parameters show the setting up of El Nino over the Pacific ocean by the end of April, says the latest release.

EL Nino is a climatic phenomenon that leads to a rise in Sea Surface Temperature (SST) of the Pacific ocean. Warmer Pacific will then impede the flow of monsoon winds to India. In fact, it is the cooler Pacific that supports the monsoon winds which brings rainfall to India.

Moreover, the prediction is that the El Nino is to continue till November-December this year, if this prediction proves true then the Indian subcontinent could also witness a warm winter, feel Met experts.

However, the central theme now is the Indian Summer Monsoon Rainfall (ISMR), which when is bountiful will give a booster dose to the Indian economy or else the vice versa.

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As per weather studies over the years, El Nino has an impact on rainfall more so on the northern and central India than on the peninsular India.

Latest studies reveal that another indicator IODMI (Indian Ocean Dipole Mode Index), an Indian equivalent to Pacific’s El Nino, plays a stellar role in determining the quantity of monsoon rainfall in peninsular India.

According to the IMD, the IODMI will remain positive till August 2019. IODMI means the difference between the SST s of western pole and the South eastern pole above the equator in the Indian Ocean.

Positive IODMI means the SST at western pole of Indian Ocean or say Arabian Sea is warmer, and Met experts say this is the reason for delay in onset of Monsoon in Kerala this year. But this will bring enhanced rainfall to the peninsular India.

According to a study done by IMD scientists Indu Bala and OP Singh, positive IODMI is good for India. The study revealed despite setting up of El Nino in year 1983, India saw an enhanced rainfall owing to positive IODMI. But the watch out factor is its effect is not pan-Indian, observed the study.

“Positive IODMI and co-relation with good ISMR is limited to peninsular India only. The co-relation with northern India and central India, including Odisha, is weak,” finds the study. It added that in years with El Nino conditions and positive IODMI, northern and central India metrological divisions would witness less rainfall and there is every likelihood of prevalence of drought like conditions in these parts of India.

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