Dark clouds hover over Monsoon 2019 as El Nino intensifies

June 6, 2019 2:34 PM |

Rain and Monsoon

In a big blow to Monsoon 2019, El Niño indices have further strengthened, this week. For the third consecutive week, the equatorial sea surface temperatures (SST) continues to not only rise but by big margin. Particularly, Nino 3.4 region, which is the area of concern for India has increased significantly from 0.8°C on May 27 to 1°C on June 3.

Following are current values of various indices across the Pacific Ocean.

El Nino temperatures

In fact, the Oceanic Niño Index (ONI), which is three months running mean of SST anomaly in the Niño 3.4 region, would now be settling around 0.8°C and chances are bright this value might climb to 0.9°C. This indicates that El Niño is showing no signs of devolving any time soon.

The average value of oceanic Niño Index (ONI) taken over a period of three months for the last four consecutive episodes are as follows:

ONI Values

The probability of El Niño is around 70% to 80% through June and 55% to 60% through rest Monsoon months. Adding to this is the fact that sea conditions are favourable for El Niño to retain these high values. SST would remain well above the threshold value throughout the Monsoon months of June to September.

El Nino model output

According to weathermen, the situation has now become quite grim as Monsoon 2019 has practically begun, although it is yet to make onset over Indian mainland. The situation is not rosy for the onset month of June, which weather models are indicating is likely to see very less rainfall to the tune of 77%.

Onset of Monsoon 2019 is also not likely to be a powerful one. In total, Skymet Weather expects initial progress as well as performance of the Monsoon to be sluggish.

El Niño performance through March, April and May

March was fairly warm, with Nino indices showcasing a rising trend. In fact, SST were fairly above than the threshold value of 0.5°C. Nino 3.4 saw temperatures settling between 1°C and 1.1°C.

El Nino temperatures for March

April saw temperatures sliding, wherein it gave indication that El Niño has started devolving. The temperatures in Nino 3.4 settled between 0.8°C and 0.9°C throughout the month.

El Nino temperatures in April

May saw lots of variation with temperatures even dipping straight to 0.5°C on May 13 but rising thereafter.

El Nino temperatures for May

Image Credit: Indian Express

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