Meteorologists have predicted that El Niño conditions are set to dissipate by this summer, perhaps even by June, raising hopes of a bountiful Indian monsoon in 2024. After below-average cumulative rainfall and a warm 2023, various national weather forecasting agencies now expect this see-saw of the Pacific Ocean to turn neutral by April-June and then start developing into La Niña, the opposite condition. As geography dictates and experience shows, this switch implies a shift from a relatively parched Indian subcontinent to a wetter one.
So, if the latest forecasts turn out to be accurate, it would raise the probability of rainfall that will favour healthy farm harvests, keep food prices in check and aid India’s central bank in keeping control of the rupee’s internal value by ensuring that it does not lose its purchasing power at an annual rate that departs from a preset 4%. In other words, we have good economic news from the other side of the globe. El Niño is part of what’s called a ‘southern oscillation’ pattern, a three-stage cyclical phenomenon that occurs across the equatorial zone of the vast Pacific and affects precipitation in Asia.
The complexity is that the entire cycle’s span varies; it typically takes anything from 2 to 7 years. El Niño usually lasts for a year or less, with a transition phase, while La Niña can persist for 1-3 years. Here’s what happens.
Under normal conditions, strong trade winds blow from east to west across the tropical zone of the Pacific Ocean, pushing warm surface water towards Asia. These winds weaken, cyclically. As they do, the ocean’s superficial warm water slops towards South America in the direction of the planet’s spin, leaving the Asian seaboard with an upwell of colder water.. Read more on livemint.com