Posts Tagged ‘Monsoon’

Good monsoon (so far) points to Indian GDP growth of over 8%

July 28, 2016

The monsoon season is half over and the rains are at the long-term average which is considered “good”. The difference between a “good” and a “poor” monsoon is generally thought to be over 2 percentage points for GDP.  The Indian ratings agency CRISIL is sufficiently encouraged already to begin talking about a GDP growth of over 8% for the Fiscal Year ending March 2017.

moneycontrol:A good monsoon with even rainfall distribution across regions will give a boost to farm sector and may push India’s GDP growth beyond the 8 percent mark in the current fiscal, Crisil said. However, stress in rainfall in certain parts of the country and excess downpour in some other regions may be a cause for worry, the credit rating agency said in a report. In a positive scenario — good monsoon backed by favourable temporal and spatial distribution — agriculture growth can surge to 6 percent from a weak base of last year and therefore push up GDP growth above 8 percent, it said. According to the report, assuming rainfall is evenly distributed across time and regions, GDP growth may rise to 7.9 percent, if agricultural growth comes at 4 percent and CPI inflation remains contained at 5 percent in the current fiscal. …..

Despite a slow start in June, rains have caught up and were just 1 percent below normal as of July 25. This has helped reservoirs to bounce back from the lows seen in the beginning of the fiscal, boosting farmers’ confidence, the report said. Excess rainfall in 89 districts across eight states could impact sowing and therefore agricultural output for the kharif season. Hence, spatial and temporal distribution of rainfall in the second half of the season, especially in August, will be crucial, it added. 

Today’s picture from Skymet shows the monsoon covering the entire country reasonably evenly.


July 28, 2016 11:46 AM – Skymet



Indian monsoon moves to excess rainfall

July 14, 2016

This year the onset of the monsoon was about a week late but the geographical coverage has spread across the entire country about 2 days ahead of the long term “normal”.

At the end of June, cumulative rainfall was running about 15% short of the long term “normal”, but has now just moved into excess (+4%).

The probability (and hope) of a “good” monsoon in 2016 (about +10-15% cumulative rainfall) is quite high. Which will no doubt cheer the government and the markets.

Figures below are from IMD for 13th July 2016.

Geographical spread of 2016 Monsoon (IMD)

Geographical spread of 2016 Monsoon (IMD)

Cumulative rainfall till 13th July 2016 (IMD)

Cumulative rainfall till 13th July 2016 (IMD)


Anthropogenic effects no threat to Indian monsoon “for a century or two” as Potsdam alarmism is debunked

January 28, 2016

The Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany is the most rabid disseminator of global warming alarm especially about sea-level rise. Stefan Rahmstorf is the Grand Mufti of this religion and most of its”science” is little more than conjecture based on speculation. They have also been forecasting increased variability and catastrophic effects on the Indian monsoon by computer simulations from 20 different climate models (none of which has succeeded in predicting the current temperature hiatus).

A new study now shows that previous Potsdam Institute monsoon forecasts were badly flawed and omitted “a dominant term in the equations of motion” no less. The equations of motion are about as basic as one can get.  The new study goes on to show that both a corrected theory and an ensemble of global climate model simulations exhibit no abrupt shift in monsoon strength in response to large changes in various forcings”. The authors don’t expect any drastic failure of the monsoon for the “next century or two”.

William R. Boosand Trude Storelvmo, Near-linear response of mean monsoon strength to a broad range of radiative forcingsPNAS January 25, 2016, doi:10.1073/pnas.1517143113


Previous studies have argued that monsoons, which are continental-scale atmospheric circulations that deliver water to billions of people, will abruptly shut down when aerosol emissions, land use change, or greenhouse gas concentrations reach a critical threshold. Here it is shown that the theory used to predict such “tipping points” omits a dominant term in the equations of motion, and that both a corrected theory and an ensemble of global climate model simulations exhibit no abrupt shift in monsoon strength in response to large changes in various forcings. Therefore, although monsoons are expected to change in response to anthropogenic forcings, there is no reason to expect an abrupt shift into a dry regime in the next century or two.

The Calcutta Telegraph reports:

India’s monsoon is in no danger of catastrophic collapse in response to global warming and air pollution, two atmospheric scientists said today, refuting earlier predictions that the monsoon could shut down within 100 years.

The scientists at Yale University in the US who used computers to model the Earth’s atmosphere, land and oceans have found that the expected changes in the monsoon will not abruptly alter their strength or their water volume.

Their results contradict earlier forecasts by scientists at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany portending frequent and severe failures and even a breakdown of the monsoon, which is critical to India’s food, water resources and economy.

“Our models show that monsoon rainfall will change smoothly in response to rising greenhouse gas concentrations, air pollution, and changes in land use,” William Boos, an associate professor at Yale University told The Telegraph“We should expect changes in the monsoon rainfall in response to changes in the global mean temperature in the coming decades, but there is no reason to expect those changes to be abrupt,” Boos said.

The earlier modelling exercises had predicted that the monsoon, under the influence of global warming and air pollution, would experience a “tipping point” that would lead to a sharp drop in rainfall over India.

Boos and his colleague Trude Storelvmo have now shown that the theory and models that were used to predict such “tipping points” had omitted a key term in climate behaviour, ignoring the fact that air cools as it rises in the atmosphere. …… 

….. A decade ago, a study by Potsdam Institute researchers suggested that increasing air pollution and forest loss could lead to a sharp reduction in rainfall within a span of decades. And three years ago, another study from the Potsdam Institute predicted a 40 to 70 per cent reduction in rainfall.

The Potsdam Institute is just one of the many so-called institutes which ensure funding by generating alarmist theories which cannot be tested.


Indian monsoon season ends – deficient but no disaster

October 2, 2015

The official 4 month monsoon season (June – September) has ended and the cumulative rainfall falls into the “average” category (from -20% to + 20% of the long-term average), but only just, at -14% for the country as a whole. Rainfall was high in June, quite low in July and August and recovered somewhat in September. Good rainfall continues in October as the monsoon withdraws. Much of this is in deficient regions of Central and South India which will further mitigate the deficiency numbers.

There is some relief that in spite of 2015 being an El Niño year, the overall picture is one of some deficiency but no disaster. Locally there have been wide variations, even between contiguous regions:

  • Jammu & Kashmir recorded 15% excess rains, while next door, Himachal Pradesh was 23% deficient.
  • West Rajasthan recorded 46% excess, while East Rajasthan ended 10% down.
  • Telangana remained rain deficit to the tune of 20% and Andhra Pradesh recorded 10% excess.
  • West Madhya Pradesh recorded normal rains and was at +4% while East Madhya Pradesh was 29% in deficit.
  • West Bengal recorded 8% excess while adjacent Jharkhand was 14% in deficit.
  • Both Marathwada (-40%) and Vidarbha (-11%) were in rain deficit but the variation was large.

From a growth perspective, the 2015 monsoon will be a neutral event (i.e. it will make its “normal” contribution to the economic cycle). The impact will not provide any additional impetus to growth but will not hinder growth either.

As the Reserve Bank has now reduced its reference interest rates by 50 basis points and most of the banks now seem to be passing on about 40 basis point reductions to their lending rates, the cost of lending is likely – for this year – to be have a much greater impact on the economy than the effects of the monsoon. But at least the monsoon will now play its “normal” part in feeding the economic cycle. The monsoon deficiency should not contribute too much to inflation in food prices.

The immediate impact of a good monsoon is increased employment in rural areas (September – October) followed by increased rural consumption of consumer goods (October – December) and even sales of two-wheelers and tractors (November – March). Pesticide sales increase during the monsoon and again in the following pre-monsoon period. Fertiliser sales pick-up strongly in the pre-monsoon period following a good monsoon. The December – June period following a good monsoon is when rural “investments” are mainly made (machinery, equipment, construction, consumer goods). The indirect effects of agriculture on the services and manufacturing sectors are critical. However, even more important is the effect of a good monsoon on food price stability and general economic sentiment.

But I foresee no booms or fireworks in Indian economic activity over the next 6 months. That requires – among other things – the “feel-good” factor that a bumper monsoon brings. Still, 12 months of steady, sustainable growth is probably more valuable than some short-lived volatile balloon of activity.

After the China circus, steady rather than spectacular will be a welcome relief.

Monsoon 2015 - Deficient but no disaster Source IMD

Monsoon 2015 – Deficient but no disaster Source IMD

Half-way through, Indian monsoon on course to be close to “normal”

July 31, 2015

Compared to “normal” the Indian monsoon has a large downside and a limited upside. It is thought that a “bad” monsoon (accumulated rainfall 20% less than normal) can depress GDP by 2 percentage points. A “good” monsoon (20% greater than normal) however can raise GDP by only about 1 percentage point since the benefits are capped by areas of local flooding. The monsoon lasts 4 months (June – September) but its indirect effects are felt all the way through to the start of the next monsoon. Agriculture contributes only 17% of India’s GDP directly but agriculture employs almost 65% of the Indian work-force.

Indian Economy

The immediate impact of a good monsoon is increased employment in rural areas (September – October) followed by increased rural consumption of consumer goods (October – December) and even sales of two-wheelers and tractors (November – March). Pesticide sales increase during the monsoon and again in the following pre-monsoon period. Fertiliser sales pick-up strongly in the pre-monsoon period following a good monsoon. The December – June period following a good monsoon is when rural “investments” are mainly made (machinery, equipment, construction, consumer goods). The indirect effects of agriculture on the services and manufacturing sectors are critical. However, even more important is the effect of a good monsoon on food price stability and general economic sentiment.

The current monsoon is now half-way through. June saw accumulated rainfall about 15% higher than normal while July has seen a shortfall of about 16%. For the 2 months the accumulated rainfall is now just short of “normal”. Revised forecasts are for a small shortfall during August followed by some excess in September and for the whole period rainfall to be close to “normal”. Timing of rainfall is important but the rains have kept reasonably close to the expected time-line.

The potential downside of a “bad” monsoon seems to have evaporated. My conclusion is that India should see a strong growth period in the September 2015 – May 2016 period, as the Modi government’s sluggish reforms pick up some steam and as the seasonal effects of a near-normal monsoon trickle through the economy.

Monsoon recovers from slow start – rainfall running 20% higher than “normal”

June 29, 2015

The SW Monsoon has, after a late, slow start, spread across all of India and is just crossing the NW frontier into Pakistan. This normally only happens around the 15th of July. Just 5 weeks ago the IMD’s updated long range forecast (Forecast 2) warned that the monsoon would be later than predicted and that total rainfall could be deficient.

  1. Rainfall over the country as a whole for the 2015 southwest monsoon season (June to September) is likely to be deficient (<90% of LPA).
  2. Quantitatively, monsoon season rainfall for the country as a whole is likely to be 88% of the long period average with a model error of ±4%.
  3. Region wise, the season rainfall is likely to be 85% of LPA over North-West India, 90% of LPA over Central India, 92% of LPA over South Peninsula and 90% of LPA over North-East India all with a model error of ± 8 %.
  4. The monthly rainfall over the country as whole is likely to be 92% of its LPA during July and 90% of LPA during August both with a model error of ± 9 %.

Moreover the risk of this being a La Nina year could further depress rainfall, we were warned by IMD. The fear of drought led to government updating emergency plans and for state governments to prepare emergency budgets. A private forecaster, Skymet,  however suggested that Indian farmers need not worry too much.

Economic Times Skymet is a young weather forecasting agency that has, with gradually amplifying audacity, been challenging the monopoly of the India Meteorological Department (IMD), the hoary state-led colonial-era institution, on matters related to climate and weather in India. ….. The IMD has usually been the final word on droughts but this time Skymet has asserted that the IMD is grievously mistaken. The IMD expects India to get ‘below normal’ rains during the coming monsoon months between June and September whereas Skymet says farmers and citizens needn’t be worried: India is going to have ‘normal’ rains.

(The IMD scientists – based on my small experience with them – are very sober and very rigorous, doing good science. But the organisation’s presentation skills are conspicuous by their absence and their public relations skills are sadly lacking. The IMD website is particularly poor. They have little clue as to how to present their forecasts for the media or the general public.)

In the event, the monsoon has surged over the last 10 days and the all-India-spread has been reached almost 2 weeks earlier than “normal”. Last year this was achieved on 17th July.

Monsoon spread till 28 June 2015 - Skymet graphic from IMD data

Monsoon spread till 28 June 2015 – Skymet graphic from IMD data

It is still early days and the monsoon is only one month into its 4 month season, but currently the rainfall (weighted average) is running some 23% above “normal”. So far it would seem that Skymet’s optimism may be closer to the mark than IMD’s dour pessimism. A weak La Nina year is still possible but 2015 will not go down as a peak La Nina year.

Rainfall during June 2015

Rainfall during June 2015

In the wettest East/North East region, rainfall is close to normal. In all other regions rainfall has been “in excess”. So far the cumulative rainfall would be classified as being “plentiful”.


Monsoon slow to reach North West but rainfall running 11% above average

June 22, 2015

In spite of a forecast of a deficient monsoon, a late start and a possible El Nino year, so far, so good.

The advance of the monsoon front is a little slow across central India and into the North West. Pakistan is experiencing a heat wave.

monsoon advance June 21st 2015 - IMD

monsoon advance June 21st 2015 – IMD

Rainfall has been holding up quite well. Accumulated rainfall across the entire country (weighted average) in the 3 weeks of the 16 week long monsoon season is running about 11% higher than the long-term average. Rainfall is deficient (from a low expected value) only in the North West region and is above average elsewhere. Even rainfall in the Southern region which often starts deficient is running some 20% above average. In this period the heaviest rainfall is usually in the North East and even here it is running 5% above normal.

rainfall till 20th june 2015 - IMD

rainfall till 20th june 2015 – IMD

The start, at least, is better than was feared and the government will be relieved that the emergency plans for “drought” conditions will not, yet, need to be activated.

“Poor” Indian monsoon so far unlikely to derail growth

August 30, 2014

With one month to go for the “official” 4 month-long monsoon season, rainfall has been 18% deficient so far. At the half-way mark most states were deficient in rainfall. However about half the states have now crept back to “normal” rainfall. With any El Nino only expected to be weak – if it even actually develops – a catastrophic monsoon can now be ruled out. Rainfall will be below normal but the last month of the monsoon holds some hope for further recovery. There is also some hope that the monsoon – which developed about 10 days late – may also be delayed in withdrawing giving some rainfall into the first two weeks of October. It will still be a “poor” monsoon but may not be labelled “bad” or “catastrophic”.

IMD’s chart covering the 3 months so far is below. Green is “normal”, red is “deficient”, yellow is “scanty” and blue is “excess”:

Monsoon 2014 75%

Monsoon 2014 75%

There is still some risk that a poor monsoon will hold back the industrial recovery somewhat. The growth in the last quarter has been the highest for 2 years as sentiment has turned positive, and is not likely to be reversed by this “poor” monsoon.


India’s economy grew by 5.7% in the three months to June, its fastest pace in two-and-a-half years, according to an official estimate. The economy was helped by strong growth in electricity, gas and water supply, and financial services, the Ministry of Statistics said.

The growth figure was higher than analysts had been expecting. …

….. Ever since the Narendra Modi government took charge, business sentiment has improved on the ground. Investors have started pumping in money again, capital markets have been roaring, consumer demand has revived & hiring has picked up.

But this euphoria is primarily driven by sentiment and more steps would be required to sustain this optimism.

Indian monsoon rainfall recovering from deficit but strong El Niño no longer expected

July 18, 2014

Yesterday the monsoon covered the entire country but while this is only 2 days later than the “long term average”, the progress of the monsoon across south and central India has been around a week or 10 days late. Until last week the rainfall was in deficit by over 40%, but heavy rains this week are beginning to eat into this deficit. In the meantime the possibility of a strong El Niño  this year, which could have further depressed the monsoon rainfall, is receding.

With 2½ months of the monsoon season left, there is now a reasonable – and improving – probability that the shortfall will end up at less than 10% of the long term average and that the hit to the Indian GDP will not be too severe.

Climate alarmists (mainly the environmental mafia) have been hoping – and praying – for a strong El Niño, a disastrous monsoon, a strong blow to the agricultural sector and an increase in farmer suicides. They are increasingly likely to be disappointed. Fortunately the cost to consumers usually reduces and the good of society usually increases with the increasing disappointment of the loony green mafia.

The best thing to have happened for Australia in years is probably the recent repeal of the Carbon tax which has – surprise, surprise – caused great disappointment to the loony green mafia.

Monsoon covers entire country 17 July 2014 - IMD

Monsoon covers entire country 17 July 2014 – IMD

ET:The monsoon delivered this season’s heaviest showers on Tuesday, drenching southern and central India with 50 per cent more rainfall than normal, while international forecasters said the rain-disrupting El Nino phenomenon would be weaker than feared.

The northern and western parts of the country remained relatively dry, but for the country as a whole, Tuesday’s rainfall was 10 per cent above normal, reducing the season’s rain deficit to 40 per cent. The deficit is still abnormally high, but two days of heavy rainfall is expected to speed up crop planting, which was half of last year’s mid-July level. 

The weather office has forecast good rainfall in many parts of the country in the days ahead. Further, the latest forecast of Australia’s weather department could bring some relief to policy-makers as it has suggested that the El Nino weather phenomenon that curtails June-September rains is unlikely to be intense this year.

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology writes in its ENSO wrap-up:

Warming of the tropical Pacific Ocean over the past several months primed the climate system for an El Niño in 2014. However, a general lack of atmospheric response over the last month has resulted in some cooling of the tropical Pacific Ocean.

While the majority of climate models suggest El Niño remains likely for the spring of 2014, most have eased their predicted strength. If an El Niño were to occur, it is increasingly unlikely to be a strong event.

Changes are also occurring in the Indian Ocean. The Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) index has been below −0.4 °C (the negative IOD threshold) since mid-June, but it would need to remain negative into August to be considered as an event. Negative values are rare when the central Pacific is warmer than average. Model outlooks suggest the IOD is likely to return to neutral by spring. Conditions in the Indian Ocean may have contributed to the above-average rainfall experienced in southeast Australia during June.


Indian Monsoon arrives – as forecast but 5 days later than average

June 6, 2014

The long range monsoon forecast predicted that total rainfall would be at around 95% of the long term average and would arrive on 5th June at the coast of Kerala. For a normal monsoon landfall in Kerala is on the 1st of June. One fear was – and still is – that if an El Niño develops this year, then a further shortfall of rain in the 4 months of the monsoon season might occur.

It is still not clear if an El Niño will develop. But the monsoon which was stationary south of Sri Lanka a few days ago has developed rapidly in the last 24 hours and the northern limit has advanced well into southern India. The eastern  end of the northern limit is still relatively static compared to the western end, but is expected to develop in the next 2 or 3 days.


  1. Southwest monsoon has set in over Kerala today, i.e. 6th June 2014. The southwest monsoon has further advanced into most parts of south Arabian sea and Kerala, remaining parts of Maldives-Comorin areas, some parts of Tamilnadu, most parts of southwest Bay of Bengal and some parts of westcentral Bay of Bengal. 
  2. The northern limit of monsoon passes through 12.0°N/60.0°E, 12.0°N/70.0°E, 12.0°N/74.0°E, Kozhikode, Coimbatore, Cuddalore, 13.0°N/83.0°E, 16.0°N/87.0°E, 18.0°N/90.0°E and 21.0°N/92.0°E. 
  3. Conditions are becoming favourable for further advance of Southwest Monsoon into remaining parts of south Arabian sea, some parts of central Arabian sea, remaining parts of Kerala, some parts of south Karnataka, some more parts of Tamilnadu and Bay of Bengal during next 2-3 days. Conditions continue to remain favourable for further advance of Southwest monsoon into some parts of northeastern state during next 48 hours.
Monsoon advance  2014 June 6th - source IMD

Monsoon advance 2014 June 6th – source IMD

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