Indian Meteorological Department forecasts normal monsoon this year

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Indian Meteorological Department forecasts normal monsoon this year

New Delhi: The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) predicted that the country would receive normal monsoon rainfall this year. The news brings cheers to Indian economy as well as the farming sector.

IMD, Director General, KG Ramesh, was quoted in media reports saying that the monsoon would be 97 percent of long period average (LPA), which is normal for the season. The error margin in the forecast is plus/minus 5 percent.

IMD, Director General said there was “very less probability” of a deficient monsoon. The four-month monsoon season starting from June and ending September is very important for India, as it provides about 75 percent of annual rainfall to the country.

The monsoon is considered normal if the average rainfall is between 96-104 percent of the LPA. Anything less than 90 percent of LPA is termed a ‘deficient’, and 90-96 percent of the same is considered ‘below normal’.

The IMD, Director General said the date of arrival of monsoon would be announced by the middle of May. He said it would also release the area wise distribution of rainfall by May end or early June.

The IMD, Director General said this would be the third consecutive year of ‘normal’ monsoon in 2018. The country had recorded 95 percent rain during the monsoon period in 2017. The monsoon rainfall during 2016 was 97 percent, while it was below normal at 86 percent in 2015.

Buoyed by the IMD forecast of a normal monsoon, Agriculture Secretary SK Pattanayak said the country’s foodgrain production might surpass this year’s record high of 277.49 million tonnes.

Country’s private weather forecast agency, Skymet Weather, had also predicted ‘normal’ monsoon this year and said that there was 55 percent possibility of normal seasonal rainfall during June-September period.

The Skymet Weather has completely ruled out the possibility of drought but has predicted about 20 percent chance of ‘above normal’ rainfall.

It said, “The Monsoon 2018 is likely to remain normal at 100 percent (with an error margin of +/-5 percent) of the Long Period Average (LPA) of 887 mm for the four-month period from June to September.”