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La Niña influences 2020 as India sees above normal rainfall, harsher winter, reduced heat wave | India News


NEW DELHI: La Niña appeared to have played a critical role in influencing the country’s climate in 2020, which was a second consecutive year of above-normal rainfall with below-normal temperatures in the winter and fewer occurrence of waves of hot.
The year also saw the formation of five cyclones in the seas along the east and west sides. Of the five, four were ‘severe cyclonic storms’ and above.
La Niña conditions played a major factor in having a good monsoon and severe winter conditions in parts of northern India.
La Niña is associated with the cooling of Pacific waters; El Niño is the antithesis. It is generally observed that a La Niña year also receives good rainfall and winter temperatures are lower than normal.
December to February are the peak winter months in the country. The severe cold day conditions in parts of northern India that began in December 2019 also continued into January this year, said the director general of the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), M Mohapatra.
The trend from cold to severe days also continued later in October, November and December. Several parts of northern India saw temperatures below normal from October to December, it said.
On the other hand, the summer also saw few cases of heat waves that affected much of the country from April to June, Mohapatra added.
He attributed the low frequency of heat waves to frequent western disturbances: the cyclonic circulation originating in the Mediterranean Sea, running through central Asia, bringing non-monsoon rains to northwestern India during winters.
This year, the frequency of Western riots was unusually high and continued even through the summer.
2020 was also the third to record the highest rainfall in the past 30 years.
Southwest Monsoon arrived in Kerala on June 1, its normal start date. The official monsoon season starts from June 1 to September 30.
The country received 109 percent of the long-term average (LPA) rainfall with three out of four months, June (118 percent), August (127 percent) and September (104 percent), witnessing rains above the normal, while July registered poor rains (90 percent).
Generally, the country receives the maximum rainfall in July and August.
One of the main characteristics of the monsoon was the rain in August. The month saw five areas of low pressure (cyclonic circulations) that brought a lot of rain over central India.
The total number of days of low pressure was 28 compared to a normal of about 15 in August.
It caused two or three episodes of river flooding over Odisha, Telangana, Madhya Pradesh, southern Gujarat and southern Rajasthan.
The IMD said it was a record rain in August 2020, when rainfall across India was 127 percent of the LPA. It was the highest in the last 44 years, after August 1976 (128.4 percent) for LPA. It was also the fourth highest in the last 120 years.
Overall, during the 2020 monsoon season, a total of 12 low-pressure systems formed.
Nineteen states and union territories received normal rainfall this year, while nine states and union territories saw excess rainfall. The islands of Bihar, Gujarat, Meghalaya, Goa, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Lakshadweep all experienced excess rainfall. Sikkim recorded a great excess of rain.
However, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir recorded deficiencies. Ladakh registered a major deficiency. Delhi also received poor rains.
“Considering the last few years since 1990, the seasonal precipitation of all of India this year was the third highest, after 112% of the LPA in 1994 and 110% of the LPA in 2019.
“It is consecutively for two monsoon years, when India received good rains of 9% of the LPA or more. Therefore, 2019 and 2020 are the two consecutive years of monsoon rains above normal, after 1958 (110% of the LPA ) and 1959 (114 percent of LPA), “the IMD had said after the end of the monsoon.
Southwest Monzón covered the entire country on June 26 against the normal date of July 8, 12 days before its normal date. The withdrawal was also late. It withdrew from western Rajasthan and parts of Punjab on September 28, 11 days after its normal withdrawal date.
In general, the northeast monsoon has also been good so far, Mohapatra said. The northeast monsoon brings rains to Tamil Nadu, parts of Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, and Karnataka from October to December.
“The year 2020 was a year with good rains. The country also received good rains during the winter months. The southwest and northeast monsoons were good,” Mohapatra added.
Three of the storms (Amphan, Nivar and Burevi) formed in the Bay of Bengal and the other two (Nisraga and Gati) in the Arabian Sea. Amphan, Nivar, and Nisarga hit the Indian coasts like cyclonic storms.
After nearly two decades, the 1999 Odisha Super Cyclone that killed thousands of people, the Bay of Bengal saw the formation of another super cyclonic storm Amphan in May. However, while it hit the coasts of West Bengal and Bangladesh as an extremely severe cyclonic storm, its intensity had been marginally reduced.
But will a similar weather pattern continue in 2021? Mohapatra said La Niña conditions are likely to prevail for the next six months.
The IMD in its winter forecast for December 2020 and January 2021 also predicted below-normal temperatures in northern India.
And how will La Niña affect the southwest monsoon and summer?
“It is difficult to predict the weather for the whole year at this time. But La Niña is generally associated with a good monsoon and temperatures below normal during winters. We are continuously monitoring the situation,” Mohapatra said.

Times of India