Forum: There is good news for Bhutanese farmers and the economic affairs ministry, according to weather experts.

The country is expected to receive normal rainfall amidst concerns that monsoon will be poor in the region this year.  This was predicted by experts at a recently held meeting of the South Asian Climate Outlook Forum (SASCOF) in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

The forum was attended by representatives from Bhutan, Afghanistan, India, Bangladesh, Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Myanmar.

The onset of monsoon in Bhutan is normally on June 5 with ±5 days.

The outlook is made for the entire season, and does not make predictions of the onset of the monsoon, or for rainfall for individual months.

The monsoon clouds that enter Bhutan from the eastern corner of the country and gradually spread westward will yield normal rainfall.

However, the SASCOF report also states that below-normal rainfall is likely over broad areas of western, central and southwestern parts of South Asia, and some areas in the northeastern-most parts of South Asia. “Normal rainfall is likely over broad areas of northern and eastern parts of the region.”

The region receives rainfall from the large-scale seasonal southwesterly winds blowing from the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea.  The monsoon accounts for 72 percent of the total rainfall in Bhutan, and has a huge importance for the economy and the livelihood of the people.

Below-normal rainfall is likely over broad areas of western (Pakistan), central (India) and southwestern parts (Sri Lanka) of South Asia, and some areas in the northeast (parts of Bangladesh and Myanmar), according to the outlook. “The South Asian Climate Outlook is intended to inform decisions in key sectors, such as agriculture and water management, disaster risk reduction and health,” states the report. 

The monsoon outlook for the 2015 southwest monsoon rainfall over South Asia has been developed through an expert assessment of the prevailing global climate conditions and forecasts from different climate models from around the world.

MB Subba