According to the third National Climate Outlook Forum (NCOF-3), Bhutan will have normal to slightly normal rainfall during monsoon this year.

National Centre for Hydrology and Meteorology (NCHM) and Regional Integrated Multi-hazard Early Warning System (RIMES) has recorded annual rainfall since 1996. They took the average annual rainfall from 1996 to 2016.  The average is then taken as the base to compare the annual rainfall outlook for the year.

According to NCHM and RIMES officials, normal to slightly normal rainfall means that Bhutan will receive equal to or slightly less rainfall compared to last year.

The result is based on a consensus from analysis and predictions carried out by NCHM, South Asian Seasonal Climate Outlook Forum (SASCOF-10), and other leading global centres that produce seasonal climate predictions.

According to Forecast system On Dynamical and Analogue Skills (FODAS), June will have a slightly above normal rainfall. July and August are expected to experience dry weather with below normal rainfall. September is expected to experience a slightly below normal rainfall.

Western Bhutan will experience below normal rainfall while central and eastern Bhutan will experience normal rainfall for the monsoon season.

Bhutan gets the highest rainfall during Monsoon – June, July, August and September. The monsoon this year could begin from June 5.

In 2016, it was predicted that Bhutan would have normal to slightly above normal rainfall. The results were as predicted.

Wangmo, assistant civil engineer with Druk Green Power Corporation (DGPC), said, “Last year NCOF-2 predicted that we will have normal and above normal rainfall. We produced the highest energy in the last five years.”

An astrologer from Pangrizampa School of Astrology attended the forum to interpret meteorological events using the traditional method.

Chencho Dorji, deputy executive engineer with NCHM, said that generally the grassroots users like farmers have more trust in religious methods than in scientific ones.

“When we looked at the datho (book of astrology) there seems to be a strong co-relation. Hence, this time we wanted to see if their prediction is in line with our forecast,” he said.

The forum was held on May 26 at Jabayang Resort in Thimphu and was organised by NCHM and RIMES.

Karma Cheki