The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has forecast that the monsoon seasonal rainfall in 2017 is likely to be 96 percent of the Long Period Average (LPA) with an error of ± 5 percent. Forecast assessment suggests 38 percent of probability for near normal monsoon rainfall.
IMD issues monthly and seasonal forecasts of rainfall for the southwest monsoon season – June to September. Operational forecasts for the southwest monsoon season rainfall are issued in two stages. The first stage forecast has been issued today and the second stage forecast will be issued in June. These forecasts are prepared using state-of-the-art Statistical Ensemble Forecasting system (SEFS) that is critically reviewed and improved regularly through in-house research activities. Since 2012, IMD has been using the dynamical global climate forecasting system (CFS) model, which was developed under the Monsoon Mission. The original coupled ocean-atmospheric model framework of CFS was adopted from the National Centres for Environmental Prediction (NCEP), USA. The CFS model was further modified to provide improved rainfall forecasts over the Indian monsoon region through research efforts taken up under the Monsoon Mission.
The weak La-Nina conditions developed in the later part of the last monsoon season peaked in December 2016 and started weakening thereafter. Currently, neutral conditions are prevailing over the equatorial Pacific. The atmospheric conditions over the Pacific also reflect neutral El-Nino conditions.
At present, neutral Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) conditions are prevailing over the Indian Ocean. The latest forecast from the Monsoon Mission Coupled Forecasting System (MMCFS) indicates weak positive IOD conditions are likely to develop during the middle of the monsoon season and to persist for some more months subsequently. Positive IOD conditions are likely to be favourable for a normal/above normal monsoon.
As the extreme sea surface temperature conditions over the Pacific, particularly El-Nino conditions over the Pacific (El Nino or La Nina) and positive IOD development over the equatorial Indian Ocean are known to have strong influence on the Indian summer monsoon, IMD is carefully monitoring the sea surface conditions over the Pacific and Indian oceans.