El Niño and the Indian Summer Monsoon: Forecast for 2024        

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March 10, 2024

El Niño and the Indian Summer Monsoon: Forecast for 2024        


  • The interplay between El Niño and the Indian summer monsoon is a topic of significant interest, particularly for countries like India reliant on agriculture. As the 2023-24 El Niño event gradually weakens, forecasts regarding its implications for the upcoming summer monsoon season are eagerly awaited. This article explores the evolving El Niño conditions, their impact on India’s climate, and the outlook for the southwest monsoon in 2024.

Overview of El Niño Event

  • El Niño, characterized by abnormal warming of sea surface waters in the equatorial Pacific Ocean, has been a prominent feature in recent times. The 2023-24 El Niño, one of the strongest on record, has peaked and is now in a phase of gradual weakening, according to the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO). Its influence on global weather patterns, including temperature anomalies and disruptions to rainfall, has been notable.

Implications for India and the Southwest Monsoon

  • El Niño and Its Impact: El Niño episodes typically lead to increased temperatures, dryness, and droughts globally. India has experienced above-normal temperatures and an increased frequency of heatwaves, as predicted by the India Meteorological Department (IMD). The peaking and subsequent weakening of El Niño are crucial factors shaping India’s climate outlook.
  • Heat Forecast for India: The IMD anticipates above-normal temperatures across various regions of India during the months of March to May. Elevated maximum temperatures and warmer nights are expected, particularly in regions such as Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, and coastal areas. The prevalence of El Niño conditions heightens the risk of prolonged and intense heatwaves in certain states.
  • Summer Monsoon Outlook: The Indian summer monsoon, critical for the country’s agricultural productivity, hinges on various climatic factors, including El Niño. While El Niño events have historically correlated with below-average monsoon rainfall, forecasts indicate a transition to ENSO neutral conditions by mid-2024. This shift offers hope for a more favorable monsoon season, provided other atmospheric dynamics align.


  • The evolving El Niño conditions and their implications for India’s climate underscore the importance of monitoring global weather patterns. As the country prepares for the onset of the southwest monsoon, the transition towards ENSO neutral conditions offers a glimmer of optimism for normal rainfall patterns. However, continued vigilance and detailed analysis of ocean-atmosphere interactions are essential for accurate seasonal forecasts and preparedness measures.

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El Niño and the Indian Summer Monsoon: Forecast for 2024 | Vaid ICS Institute