Skymet weather

Skymet Gets It Right, Monsoon 2023 Succumbs Below Normal

September 30, 2023 4:41 PM |

Monsoon 2023 breaks spree of 'Normal / Above Normal' monsoon for the last 4 consecutive years, from 2019 to 2022. Weaker than normal monsoon is never a desired outcome, as it is kindred with economic drag and food security challenge for the country. But then, monsoon is a moody lover, sometimes painting canvas 'overjoyed' and leaving 'shrill cries' on few other occasions. 

A poorer than normal monsoon was pre-empted this season. In its foreshadow, released on January 04, 2023, Skymet assessed the monsoon 2023 to be sub-par. This prediction was retained while releasing the comprehensive monsoon forecast on April 10, 2023.  Skymet announced the upcoming monsoon to be 'Below Normal' to the tune of 94% of the long period average (LPA).  Southwest monsoon 2023 has precisely finished on the dot at 94% of LPA.

Signs of El Nino were quite visible, much before the season commenced.  Strong warming likely in the Pacific Ocean had portend a speedy evolving El Nino and further ramping up half way through the season. Also, El Nino after a La Nina is a bigger risk.  Return of El Nino is never kind enough and mostly presage subdued monsoon.  Superimposed with other forecast parameters, it overwhelmingly conformed to 'corrupt' monsoon.
The month of July was the  best performer and also saviour from a possible disaster. It recorded 13% excess rainfall, the 2nd largest since 2005. The month compensated the shallow performance of June ending with a deficit of 10% rainfall. The monsoon had earlier made a delayed start and was sluggish in the initial phase. 

Half way through the season, with collapse of August, the core monsoon month, the country was sinking and plunging into  an abyss of drought and despair. Courtesy, good number of monsoon systems over Bay of Bengal in September, timely revival of monsoon saved the country from the scare of yet another drought.  

Despite, the sincere efforts of scientists across the globe, the monsoon forecast continues to be a challenge. Like many other vagaries of weather, decoding monsoon will remain a laborious exercise. The monsoon is capable of throwing up a surprise, anywhere, anytime. After all, it has a reputation to maintain. 

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