El-Nino Effect: IMD Predicts Warmer Winter and Heavier Rains
9th Nov, 2023
El Niño, or Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is a naturally occurring climatic event synonymous with a poor southwest monsoon in India.
Prediction of IMD:
- Warmer Winter: The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) and the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) have concurred that the upcoming winter will be warmer than normal and also indicate a bountiful monsoon next year due to the ongoing El Niño.
El Nino and Indian Weather:
- El Niño, or Southern Oscillation (ENSO): It is a naturally occurring climatic event synonymous with a poor southwest monsoon in India.
- Rise in Temperature: It will further spike in temperature both on land and in the ocean. Unlike the below-normal monsoon this year, the monsoon in 2024 is likely to be normal and above normal.
- Monsoon Rainfall: This year, India received only around 94% of its normal average rainfall, which was also uneven and impacted agricultural activities.
- El Niño is one side of the climatic coin called the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO). It’s the heads to La Niña’s tails.
- It is classified as a periodic fluctuation in sea surface temperature (SST) across the central and eastern tropical Pacific oceans.
- It is triggered by a warming of the eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean
- El Niño occurs every 2-7 years and can last anywhere between nine months and two years.
- El Niño is the warm phase of the El Niño Southern Oscillation (commonly called ENSO) and is associated with a band of warm ocean water that develops in the central and east-central equatorial Pacific (between approximately the International Date Line and 120°W), including off the Pacific coast of South America.
- La Nina is the opposite of El Nino and is characterised by cooler currents in the equatorial eastern Pacific.
- El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO):
- The combined phases of La Nina and El Nino are termed El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO).
- The phenomenon affects rainfall patterns, global atmospheric circulation, and atmospheric pressure across the planet.
- In the neutral state, (neither El Niño nor La Niña) trade winds blow east to west across the surface of the tropical Pacific Ocean, bringing warm moist air and warmer surface waters towards the western Pacific and keeping the central Pacific Ocean relatively cool.
About El Nino of 2023-24:
- El Niño is related to the warming of the ocean surface in the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean, especially near Peru, South America.
- However, it has been observed that human-induced climate change has increased its frequency. Due to El Niño, the sea surface temperature varied between 0.5°C to 1.5°C during May to September this year.
- El Niño occurs on average every two to seven years and typically lasts nine to 12 months.
- It is connected to poor monsoons in India and drought-like conditions in Australia.
Peak Effect of El Nino and Impact:
- El Nino Peak in April 2024: A recent analysis by WMO shows that the El Niño event is likely to peak in November-January 2024, with its impact reducing in April 2024.
- Better 2024 South-West Monsoon: This will make way for good annual southwest monsoon winds to reach the Indian peninsula. According to WMO, there is a 90% likelihood that El Niño will persist throughout the upcoming northern hemisphere winter and southern hemisphere summer.