Kathmandu, May 18
A consensus statement recently issued by the 14th session of South Asian Climate Outlook Forum held in Kathmandu has predicted normal rainfall over most parts of South Asia, including Nepal, during this year’s summer monsoon.
“Normal rainfall is most likely during the 2019 southwest monsoon season (June-September) over most parts of South Asia.
However, above-normal rainfall is predicted over some northern parts of the region, eastern coastal areas of Peninsular India, Sri Lanka, southern parts of Myanmar, and most parts of Andaman and Nicobar islands,” it said.
According to SASCOF, below-normal rainfall is likely over some areas of southern Pakistan, some areas along the west coast of Peninsular India, northern parts of central India and some areas of northeastern part of the region.
Remaining areas are likely to experience normal rainfall.
The consensus outlook was developed through an assessment of experts on the prevailing global climate conditions and forecasts from different climate models around the world.
Currently, weak El Niño conditions are prevailing over the Pacific Ocean and there is strong consensus among experts about the possibility of further weakening of these conditions during the latter phase of the monsoon season.
Some global models are also indicating a possibility of El Niño conditions turning to El Niño-Southern Oscillation neutral conditions during the season.
“However, it is recognised that there is large uncertainty in the forecasts made at this time of the year, particularly regarding further evolution of the El Niño conditions.
Other regional and global factors can also influence monsoon rainfall patterns over the region,” it read.
Monsoon usually enters Nepal on June 10 and withdraws on September 23 every year. Last year, the Meteorological Forecasting Division had officially declared the onset of monsoon on June 8, two days ahead of the normal date and its withdrawal was delayed by 12 days. Kathmandu valley received a total of 1,142.3 mm rain last monsoon.
Once monsoon enters from the eastern region, it makes progressive westward advancement to the remaining parts of the country over the next few days. Monsoon lasts for an average of 105 days. Nepal receives an average of 80 per cent annual rainfall during the monsoon.
A version of this article appears in print on May 19, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.