IMD Forecasts a Normal Monsoon in 2018L Impact of El-Nino and IOD (Download PDF)


Download PDF of This Page (Size: 320.14 K)

Rainfall would be 97 % of the 50-year average with a 56 % probability that rains would be normal to excess, the India Meteorological Department said in its first stage long range forecast.

Imsg of Tracking The monsoon

Imsg of Tracking The Monsoon

Imsg of Tracking The monsoon

Normal monsoon could be a good news for the rural economy that suffered due to the twin impact of drought years and demonetization.

  • According to the IMD experts, an El Nino-like situation is unlikely for the better part of this year, which indicates a normal monsoon in 2018, if other weather parameters work in favour.

  • La Nina conditions are expected to prevail till June 2018. Currently, such conditions prevail over the equatorial Pacific Ocean.

  • There is a possibility of La Nina conditions prevail till April, May and June 2018, following which neutral conditions would become evident in June, July and August—the first three months of monsoon.

  • The absence of El Nino means no negative impact on Indian monsoon, the fact that La Nina will weaken after June eliminates chances of above-normal rain during monsoon.

  • Besides El Nino and La Nina, the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) also has a strong influence on the Indian summer monsoon. An IOD can either augment or weaken the impact of El Nino on Indian monsoon.

  • A positive IOD can bring good rains to India despite an El Nino year, negative IOD leads to more monsoon break days.

  • According to IMD, the probability forecast for IOD indicates almost equal probabilities for positive, neutral and negative IOD conditions for the coming seasons.

  • A positive IOD occurs when sea surface temperature is higher than normal in the Arabian Sea and less than normal in the tropical eastern Indian Ocean. The opposite is true in case of a negative IOD

How Important is Monsoon Rain to India?

  • India receives 70 % of its annual rainfall in the four-month period, which in turn irrigates over half of its farmlands lacking assured irrigation.

  • Monsoon rain is a life for the agriculture-intensive Indian economy.

  • Monsoon rain is also instrumental in keeping inflation in check.

  • IMD defines average, or normal, rainfall as between 96 % and 104 % of a 50-year average of 89 cms for the entire four-month season beginning June.

  • Other than lifting farm and wider economic growth, a wet spell will keep a lid on inflation.

  • A normal south-west monsoon bodes well for the Indian economy and is likely to boost rural demand and alleviate farm distress.

  • The onset of the monsoon in June kick-starts planting of rain-fed Kharif crops.


  • El Nino 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.

  • El Nino Southern Oscillation refers to the cycle of warm and cold temperatures, as measured by sea surface temperature, SST, of the tropical central and eastern Pacific Ocean.

  • The ENSO cycle, both El Niño and La Niña, cause global changes of both temperatures and rainfall.

  • El Nino affects the global climate and disrupts normal weather patterns, which as a result can lead to intense storms in some places and droughts in others


  • La Niña is the positive phase of the El Niño Southern Oscillation and is associated with cooler-than-average sea surface temperatures in the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean.

  • Each country and island nation has a different threshold for what constitutes a La Niña event, which is tailored to their specific interests.

What is Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD)

  • The Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD), also known as the Indian Niño, is an irregular oscillation of sea-surface temperatures in which the western Indian Ocean becomes alternately warmer and then colder than the eastern part of the ocean.

  • Monsoon in India is generally affected by the temperature between Bay of Bengal in the east and The Arabian sea in the west.

  • A positive phase sees greater-than-average sea-surface temperatures and greater precipitation in the western Indian Ocean region.

  • The negative phase of the IOD brings about the opposite conditions, with warmer water and greater precipitation in the eastern Indian Ocean, and cooler and drier conditions in the west.

- Published/Last Modified on: August 9, 2018


Monthy-updated, fully-solved, large current affairs-2018 question bank(more than 2000 problems): Quickly cover most-important current-affairs questions with pointwise explanations especially designed for IAS, CBSE-NET, Bank-PO and other competetive exams.