The monsoon season, a significant period in Nepal's climatic calendar, is expected to be delayed this year, according to the Meteorological Forecasting Division of the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology. This delay, coupled with the forecast of below-average rainfall and above-average maximum temperature, could have far-reaching implications for the country, particularly in the agricultural sector.
The Monsoon Season in Nepal
The monsoon season in Nepal, which typically begins on June 13 and ends on September 23, delivers around 80 percent of the country's total annual rainfall. This rainfall is crucial for agricultural production, particularly of paddy, and is linked to the country's overall economic growth. However, this year, the monsoon is likely to start a few days later than the average date.
The Impact of Delayed Monsoon
The delay in the monsoon season could have significant implications for Nepal, a country highly vulnerable to the climate crisis. The timely arrival of rains translates into favorable conditions for agricultural production. A delay, therefore, could potentially impact crop yield and, consequently, the country's economy.
The Role of El Nino
The forecast of below-average rainfall and above-average maximum temperature is attributed to the El Nino conditions, a climatic pattern that generally brings dry weather. There is a 35 to 55 percent chance of both conditions occurring, according to the department.
Nepal's Climate Crisis
Nepal has been witnessing extreme weather events over the past decade and a half, making it one of the world's most vulnerable countries to the climate crisis. Evidence indicates that the maximum temperature in Nepal is rising at a faster pace than the global average. Extreme weather events, including excessive rainfall, continuous rain, dry spells and droughts, below average precipitation, and above normal temperature in winter, have become more frequent in recent years.
The expected delay in the monsoon season this year, along with the forecast of below-average rainfall and above-average maximum temperature, underscores the urgent need for effective climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies in Nepal. As the country grapples with the impacts of the climate crisis, it is crucial to develop and implement measures that safeguard its economy, particularly the agricultural sector, and ensure the well-being of its people.