Pakistan awaits its share of critical monsoon in 2021

Catastrophic flooding is common in South Asia during the monsoon season

In its year analysis, NOAA has declared the end of La-Nina. It means a neutral sea-surface and atmospheric conditions likely in the Pacific Ocean with only 12% chances of El-Nino (Reuters, 2021). Relatively normal monsoon season likely in the Indian sub-continent this year. However, given scarce or lack of study on Indian Ocean Dipole and the on-off emergence of Madden Julian Oscillation wave, monsoon can behave erratically in certain areas (as it always has done). The sea-surface temperatures in the Indian Ocean also impact the monsoon irrespective of ENSO conditions. Hence, the Indian Met Office has forecasted above normal rains across India except western states (areas near Pakistan), it has arrived in southern state Kerala two days late (Times of India, 2021). On the other hand, although no official statement by the Pakistan Met Office but via Social Media Data it appears they have predicted above normal rains so far, this can be attributed to the fact that westerly-easterly interaction does tend to bring localized extremely heavy downpour in the country as observed in recent years. Even right now, it is largely due to the presence of westerlies that is causing isolated pre-monsoon activity in various parts of the country, a pattern less common in India.

Therefore, at the current stage it is difficult to predict the exact behavior of the monsoon season in Pakistan, which is at the tail end of the monsoon. The wind and temperature in the Indian Ocean especially Arabian Sea needs to be observed in the month of June to be confident about the events that might unfold in August and July. Researchers focus has remained on Bay of Bengal which is the driver of the season in the region however lately Arabian Sea too has been causing unusual torrential rains especially in the southern parts of Pakistan as evident from 2019-2020 monsoon.

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