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Potential Transition from El Niño to La Niña: Normal Monsoon likely in 2024

Ø  The country is currently experiencing an El Niño period, but in the upcoming months, it is gradually expecting a move towards La Niña. In the coming months, it is anticipated that the present El Niño will settle off and become neutral. (Fig.1)

Fig. 1 (Source: NOAA)
Ø  The next six months could see the emergence of La Niña due to favourable conditions. Initial predictions indicate that by April–June, there is a 79% probability that persistent El Niño conditions would change to ENSO-Neutral. There is a 55% chance of La Niña conditions developing in the Pacific by June–August after the shift to ENSO-Neutral.
Ø   One of the most significant effects of La Niña on India is its influence on the monsoon. Thus, a shift to La Niña may be advantageous for crops reliant on adequate rainfall, thus leading to improved soil moisture levels and better crop yields, potentially boosting agricultural productivity.

Monsoon Forecast for 2024
                       Fig. 2: March- May 2024                                       Fig. 3: April- June 2024

Fig. 4: May- July 2024

The above 3 Figures provide insights into the projected precipitation trends, highlighting the areas expected to experience above, below, and near-normal rainfall during the specified period. The forecast for the upcoming months of March to June 2024 presents notable variations in rainfall patterns across different regions of India compared to historical data.

Ø  March-May 2024: During March to May 2024, chances of departure from usual rainfall is about -40% in East Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Madhya Pradesh compared to normal, which could be beneficial to spices.

Ø  April-June 2024: Pre-Monsoon will continue to be dry specifically in areas of South Western Gujarat, North Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, Coastal Odisha, and Coastal areas of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.

Ø  May-July 2024: Figure 4 depicts onset of Monsoon in Southern India which is positive trend for weakening El Nino.

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