Prediction of Indian rainfall during the summer monsoon season on the basis of links with equatorial Pacific and Indian Ocean climate indices

Interannual variation of Indian summer monsoon rainfall (ISMR) is linked to El Niño-Southern oscillation (ENSO) as well as the Equatorial Indian Ocean oscillation (EQUINOO) with the link with the seasonal value of the ENSO index being stronger than that with the EQUINOO index. We show that the variation of a composite index determined through bivariate analysis, explains 54% of ISMR variance, suggesting a strong dependence of the skill of monsoon prediction on the skill of prediction of ENSO and EQUINOO. We explored the possibility of prediction of the Indian rainfall during the summer monsoon season on the basis of prior values of the indices. We find that such predictions are possible for July–September rainfall on the basis of June indices and for August–September rainfall based on the July indices. This will be a useful input for second and later stage forecasts made after the commencement of the monsoon season.

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