70pc chance of El Nino this year: forecast
Washington, June 5, 2014
The US weather forecaster said there was an increased likelihood of an El Nino weather phenomenon striking during the Northern Hemisphere summer in its monthly outlook on Thursday.
The Climate Prediction Center, an agency of the National Weather Service, said there was a 70 percent chance of El Nino, which can wreak havoc on global crops, during the summer and 80 percent during the fall and winter.
The Australian Bureau of Meteorology in its latest update also said there is high chance of El Nino weather event this year. El Nino has the potential to cause severe droughts in Asia Pacific including India.
Meanwhile, India Meteorological Department (IMD) said the country's southern coast could witness the arrival of this year's monsoon in the next day or so after sporadic rains in recent days.
The monsoon is crucial to farmers in Asia's third-largest economy.
"Conditions have turned favourable for the monsoon onset in about 24 hours," an IMD official said.
In a typical year, the monsoon begins on or around June 1 but government forecasters had forecast a five-day delay and below-average rainfall in this year's wet season.
Rains are vital to rejuvenate an economy battling its longest economic slowdown since the 1980s and to cool inflation that has averaged nearly 10 per cent for the past two years, said a Times of India report.
The farm sector accounts for 14 per cent of India's nearly $2 trillion economy, with two-thirds of its 1.2 billion population living in rural areas, it said.