The highest recorded rainfall in the past five years for southern islands was observed in mid-December. This is the third high rainfall event observed this year in this region. Due to this a surplus rainfall was observed in southern Maldives in contrast to the rainfall deficit observed in northern and central islands. The sea surface temperature has become neutral around Maldives but in the rest of the Indian Ocean there is warming to South of the Equator.
Rainfall deficit persists in all of Maldives. The seas around Maldives are warmer than usual, and warm than usual air temperatures are also likely for the three months ahead. ENSO conditions remain neutral and a continuation of neutral conditions is expected through-out the first quarter of 2014. When the whole year is considered, less than average rainfall was observed during 2013 compared to the average of previous 8 years.
Rainfall deficit has abated in the Southern Islands, but persists weakly in the Northern Islands and significantly in the Central Islands. Warmer temperatures prevail in the equatorial Indian Ocean sea surface.
After a much wetter May than average, rainfall across Maldives has been drier than average for July and August. There still is a cumulative rainfall anomaly compared to the past 8 years’ average in Northern and Central islands in Maldives while in Southern islands it is close to average cumulative rainfall. Sea Surface Temperature around Maldives has remained in a climatological state during the past two weeks but In the larger Indian Ocean there is a negative dipole.
Image: Observed rainfall (Top) and Rainfall Deficit in North Maldives (Bottom)