El Nino may impact monsoon in Nepal

Kathmandu, March 6

Meteorologists have said that the El Nino could affect the country’s upcoming monsoon, if the cycle is formed in 2017.

The monsoons generally begin from the first week of June and lasts till the last week of September every year in Nepal.

A weather forecasting report by Australian Bureau of Meteorology shows increased likelihood of El Nino’s occurrence in 2017.

According to the ABM’s report released yesterday, six out of eight models that were surveyed suggested that the El Nino could be seen by July, 2017 and the chances stood at 50 per cent.

“This has led to some worries about India’s monsoon season, which runs from June to September, as the El Nino conditions are typically associated with below-normal rains,” the report stated.

Meteorologist at Meteorological Forecasting Division Shanti Kandel said as monsoon in both India and Nepal depends on climatic movement of the Bay of Bangal, rainfall in Nepal will be affected if El Nino hits India this year.

“Though Nepal has yet to make an official forecast for monsoon this year, the worldwide phenomenon and forecasting definitely indicate that El Nino will affect the country’s weather,” said Kandel.

She added that the MFD will officially release a forecast report about the status of the upcoming monsoon soon.

Meanwhile, the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology said it was too soon to predict the upcoming monsoon and the department would release a forecast just before the season. Director General at the DHM Rishi Ram Sharma told The Himalayan Times, “In the local context, the monsoon in 2017 is expected to be normal, and further predictions of weather will be made later.”

According to an analysis by Nomura, in the last thirty years when El Nino thresholds were breached during the monsoon season (on average), India witnessed below-normal monsoon only on five occasions (1987, 1991, 2002, 2004, 2015), while on three occasions there was normal monsoon, in 1994, above normal monsoon was recorded.

Moreover, the timing of El Nino matters for an agriculture-dependent country like Nepal.