Monsoon facing the biggest challenge from its own Ocean!

“This is the fifth article related to the monsoon season of 2013 and it will be followed by many more articles”

‘Indian Ocean is giving threats to the Monsoon!’

Deficient rains over Pakstan?
Deficient rains over Pakstan?

El Niño/La Niña–Southern Oscillation of Pacific Ocean is not the only thing that is an obstacle in the way of monsoon season but there is a similar phenomenon in the Indian ocean that has an impact on the monsoon seas though it affects less number of countries than the ENSO conidtions. What is it? It is the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD), this year it is the only thing that is giving threats to the upcoming monsoon season especially to Pakistan!

Indian Ocean Dipole and monsoon

IOD is an irregular phenomenon in which the western equatorial of the Indian Ocean becomes warmer while the eastern equatorial cooler or vice-versa.It affects the Sub continent, Australia, Indonesia and many other surrounding countries. There are two phases of Indian Ocean Dipole; 1. Positive IOD 2. Negative IOD

  • Positive Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) causes sea temperatures to rise in the western Indian Ocean with heavy precipitation in Sub-continent while it makes the sea temperatures cooler in the eastern Indian Ocean with drought or very little to no precipitation in Australia and Indonesia.
  • Negative Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) causes cooler sea temperatures in western Indian Ocean with less rainfall in the Sub-continent while eastern Indian Ocean becomes warmer with heavy precipitation in Indonesia and some parts of Australia.

Early Monsoon – Danger during last months?

‘American and Australian saying bad monsoon ahead!’

Moving towards -IOD
Moving towards -IOD

According to the American and Australian experts, a negative Indian ocean Dipole is very likely this year that will remain towards the end of Monsoon season. According to their models which show that a sharp transition would take place during last week of May as shown in the above chart which will result in the formation of a negative Indian ocean Dipole hence the onset of monsoon would be delayed in western India and all over Pakistan, these areas will continue to witness below normal rains till the end of monsoon.

The Australian Meteorology also points towards cooler temperature in the Pacific Ocean that might led to a weak La-Nina later in the year. Four out of five Australian models hints towards a negative Indian ocean dipole during the upcoming monsoon season.

‘Japanese worry too – Little cautious at the moment!’

Earlier signs of El-Nino were seen
Earlier, signs of El-Nino were seen

The Japanese on the other hand were the first to point out that negative Indian ocean Dipole would develop this year though they are little cautious this year as their model failed last year to predict the sudden development of positive Indian ocean dipole during last days of monsoon season that in return caused heavy flooding in parts of Sub-continent.

According to their model, monsoon could create some problems in some places of north-eastern, central and adjoining north-western parts of India though at the same time,  the same model that is forecasting for Negative Indian Ocean dipole is forecasting a weak La-Nina later in the season.

‘South Korea believes a good monsoon ahead’

Temperatures across the world's ocean
Temperatures across the world’s ocean

South Korea-based Asia-Pacific Climate Centre have ruled out that there will be below normal rains this year in the sub-continent. Their model expects overall normal to above normal monsoon rainfall during June and July while slight decrease in rain-coverage in the month of August.

‘Indians neglect -IOD’

IMD's forecast over the years
IMD’s forecast over the years

The forecast of Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has not mentioned the Negative India Ocean Dipole development, in simple words they have completely neglected the Indian ocean Dipole phenomenon therefore they believe on a normal monsoon season.

Breif Timeline of  2013 Monsoon season

Karachi beach during a monsoon season
Karachi beach during a monsoon season

It was feared that the low pressure that formed in the Arabian sea off the coast of Oman, if it intensifies then it would drag the moisture away from the sub-continent thus causing a delay in monsoon’s westward advancement but the monsoon was saved as the low pressure near Oman fizzled though some decrease in thunderstorm activity over western India coast did occur which will improve in few days  and a second depression BOB 02 formed in the Bay of Bengal that moved towards north-eastern areas of Indian causing monsoon onset over many parts of India. Following are the important dates on which monsoon arrived over the sub-continent;

Two low pressures formed in the Arabian sea both were unimportant for the sub-continent. In the both of Bay of Bengal, two depressions formed, in which one of intensified into a cyclone ‘Mahasen’.

Early Monsoon has been vigorous

Monsoon rainfall in Karachi 2010
Monsoon rainfall in Karachi 2010

So far the sea surface temperatures of the Pacific ocean are neutral though later this year a weak La-Nina can develop during late July/August and during this period the negative India ocean dipole is expected to peak, both of these phenomenons will influence the monsoon season. So far the monsoon has been vigorous over India as 26% above normal rainfall has occurred. From June 9, the monsoon coverage in the sub-continent would increase significantly. Two low pressure from the Bay of Bengal can move towards central India, another circulation can form in the North Arabian sea.

Our View on the upcoming season

Pakistan Weather Portal (PWP)’s monsoon forecast that was issued on May 6 has been revised on June 6, following is the forecast of PWP;

“Monsoon 2013 would set in early this year in India due to the formation of a low pressures in Bay of Bengal, Monsoon will be very active in the month of June as there is a possibility of pre-monsoon in Sindh and Punjab, moderate to heavy downpour can occur in Punjab (including Lahore) and Sindh (including Karachi) during the late midweek and last week of June due to the weak Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) wave. Eastern & western winds interaction possible during this period of June and later in the season in upper areas of Pakistan which could lead to heavy rainfall over Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as well. Monsoon onset in Pakistan can take place in the last weeks of June/first week of July especially in the northern areas of the country. Pakistan can experience near to normal rainfall in June till early July on the wider-scale while normal to below normal rainfall after mid-week of July till August as a whole. North-eastern Punjab and Azad Kashmir can witness some frequent heavy downpour in the month of July. Due to the high possibility of the formation of negative Indian ocean Dipole, rain activity could be significantly hampered from mid-week of July and in August, a partial effect of weak La-Nina might be observable later in the monsoon season (which could  weaken the effect of -IOD in September). However an event of isolated flash flooding/urban flooding (happens every year) can never be ruled out.”

Monsoon Special articles for 2013

You can read special monsoon article by Pakistan Weather Portal (PWP), here;



51 replies to “Monsoon facing the biggest challenge from its own Ocean!

  1. The current moisture over Oman today plus the break in the Pakistan-Arabian Dust cloud for the last few days, may move that block of moisture towards the coast of Pakistan shortly. Over the next six months, the absence or presence of the Dust Cloud over Pakistan will probably be a stronger factor for floods, normal rainfall or drought conditions, as they have matched exactly, over the last few years.

  2. baber bhai buri khabar sunaee ap nay. . .ramzan aur garmiyan monsoon k baghair kaysay guzrain gi . . .i was so excited that monsoon crept early this year and expecting a longer rainy season this summer. . .bt ur article made me worried. . .Allah kray ap ki ye prediction ghalat sabit ho jaiy. . .waiting 4 a gud news frm u in coming days. .

    1. Its not a “buri khabar” 🙂
      There is a possibility of a weak La Nina in late monsoon season as mentioned in the article. This La Nina can bring good rainfall across whole of the country so you must be happy.

    2. Hahahahaha 😛
      Monsoon is still expected to start early but we cant ignore the emerging factors. Indian ocean Dipole is as important as ENSO conditions. Since the publishing of monsoon one, I was hoping that IOD would not materialize but it did!

  3. This is the reason why Karachi is one of the dryer places in the world, except for few good years of moonsoon.

    Positive Dipole ?
    Negative Dipole ?
    La NiNA ?
    El NINO ?
    Dust Cloud ?
    low Pressure high pressure, NO Pressure ??
    Enso ???/ BLA BLA BLA



    1. These are conditions and are observed everywhere.
      The thing is that these conditions just don’t favor Karachi.

  4. at the end of monsoon season 2013……..we will observe 50% to 60% above normal monsoon rains overall in Pakistan………..everyone note it down :)………..sab japani cheeni australian models fail hojaengay………INSHAA ALLAH

  5. Babar bhai,Please explain Monsoon rains in south Punjab would normal or above normal as did not give any forecast about that in your any article.

  6. You people should know about global warming.This warming of oceans will cause heavy monsoon precipitation because there will be more water vapor in the air.As for now -IOD will have little effect as it will be cancelled by La-Nina.It is all about what Allah has in store for us.May it be a blessing not a curse.

  7. Simply based off intution I was suspecting a less active monsoon because the past three years have been way above normal for several stations of Pakistan. Very interesting article by the way, and beautiful flow of language. But unfortunately, less rainfall is expected. ALAS! Let’s just hope that drought conditions don’t develop!!

    1. Thank you!
      Central and southern areas are my concern for this monsoon especially in late season.
      Hope some it gets +rains in the beginning.

      1. Oh I totally know what you mean! May God provide Pakistan with sufficient water for the year to come.

  8. babar bhai i have request for you that when you issue weather update or monsoon forecast you did not mention separate forecast for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan as of Punjab and Sindh. So i request you to issue separate forecast for all the provinces of Pakistan.

    1. In the Pakistan Weather Update there are sections;
      All provinces forecast are mentioned in it.
      Most of Balochistan is not a monsoon region. Small part of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is not a monsoon region.

  9. babar bhai officials of pmd saying that coming rain spell from wednesday is not a part of pre monsoon. pre monsoon will start in the last ten days of june.

    1. It is pre-monsoon, cloud movement is from India (only happens during monsoon season) though I havent seen PMD forecast on upcoming rains, I think they havent mentioned it yet.

  10. Our Chief Metrologist (PMD) don’t have any idea about coming monsoon rains.
    After 2/3 three days northern areas will get good pre monsoon rains.

  11. in my personal opinion … karachi and southern sind especially indian gujarat and khatiawar areas would recieve heavy rains this year probably it might look like 1994 monsoon season in my reckoning ……. early shower in karachi which i m anxiously waiting would come in 1 or 2 days………. so in my experience i agree wid osama that
    all forecasting from usa or japanese would be failed……. be ready for 300 to 400 mm in karachi…. inshallah…. might get more if we lucky…..

      1. Yes, would be unusual but would be welcomed as after June and first weeks of July, at the moment no good chances of rain in the following months.

      2. yes i read that…. so keep ready urself for the fun… i dont think so that the following month would be drier… i m looking this year would be like 1994… when 475 mm fell down …… in karachi…………………..

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