India may witness poor monsoon this year

India may witness poor rainfall this monsoon season, scientists said Wednesday.

This has been linked to the El Nino, a weather phenomenon characterized by unusually warm ocean surface temperatures in the central and eastern tropical Pacific.

It has a significant impact on climate in many parts of the world and has a warming influence on global temperatures.

"There is a strong consensus about the possibility of evolution of an El Nino event during the summer monsoon season," D.S. Pai, head of India Meteorological Department's regional climate centre here, said Wednesday.

He was releasing the consensus forecast of the South Asian Climate Outlook Forum -- a group of global weather experts affiliated to the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO).

Monsoon provides 70 percent of rainfall in India, where agriculture is mostly rain fed.

Poor monsoon has a spiralling affect on inflation, and can effect economy negatively.

According to the forecast by the group, rains could be below average in Sri Lanka, Bhutan, and some parts of Pakistan, while an average monsoon is expected in Bangladesh, Nepal and Afghanistan, Pai said.

A strong El Nino, marked by a warming of the sea surface on the Pacific Ocean, can cause severe drought in Australia, Southeast Asia and India, while drenching other regions such as the US midwest and Brazil.

WMO, in its estimation of the El Nino earlier this month, had warned of rising sub-surface temperature in the Pacific Ocean.

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