Capturing the monsoon
India needs all-weather insurance against the global climate Change.
- Monsoon Deficit and El Niño: India experienced a rainfall deficit in 2023 after the 2018 gap. This year, the country received 82 cm of rainfall, nearly 6% lower than the normal 89 cm, partly due to the presence of El Niño.
- Unusual Rainfall Patterns: In 2023, 9% of India received 'excess' rainfall, while 18% faced 'deficient' conditions. Unexpected heavy rainfall in northern states, attributed to western disturbances, caused floods and landslides.
- Infrastructure Resilience Needed: Varied monsoon impacts emphasize the need for resilient infrastructure to combat unpredictable climate vagaries. Investment in improved forecast models is crucial for early weather warnings.
Regional Climate Extremes
- Maharashtra Drought: Maharashtra faced drought-like conditions, while Chhattisgarh, Bihar, and Karnataka reported extreme water stress. The Cauvery river dispute escalated between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
- North-East Monsoon and Rainfall Forecasts: The India Meteorological Department predicts a 'normal' north-east monsoon and 'normal to above-normal rainfall' in north-west and south peninsular India.
- Impacts: These events underscore the influence of anthropogenic warming on weather patterns.
The Call for Improved Forecast Models
- Ensuring regional Balance: South India also anticipates increased rainfall whereas the North India experienced water distress.
- Addressing Monsoon Variability: Recent monsoon variability highlights the need for advanced forecasting models, enabling better prediction of significant weather changes.
- Way forward: Investment in expertise and resources is vital.