According to the recent reports from the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), the Southwest monsoon expected for the year will be normal.
In its first stage Long Range Forecast (LRF) for monsoons, the IMD states that "the southwest monsoon seasonal (June to September) rainfall over the country as a whole is likely to be normal (96-104%)."
The entire four-month season of heavy, even torrential rains at times, begins usually in June across South India.
This monsoon rain is quintessentially required across the country for maintaining the equilibrium of the nation's $2.9 trillion economy. The monsoon delivers up to 70% of rains that India needs to water farms and recharge reservoirs and aquifers.
100% rainfall of the LPA
According to the IMD studies, the monsoon seasonal (June to September) rainfall is likely to be 100% of the Long Period Average (LPA) with a model error of 5%.
The probability for rainfall in the range of 104 to 110 per cent of the LPA is 21 per cent, which is the average rainfall received during the South-West monsoon annually for the period between 1961 and 2000. The LPA during 1961-2010 was recorded to be 88 cm.
"Good news is that it is estimated that the deficient rainfall will be 9 per cent. This forecast is based on the statistical model, it suggests that we will have a normal monsoon," said an IMD official.
Long-range monsoon forecast released
The first stage long-range monsoon forecast was released by the IMD Director General Mrutyunjay Mohapatra, who explained that both El Nino and Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD), the ocean warming phenomena that influence the quantum of rainfall that India gets during the South-West monsoon, are neutral this year.
While the El Nino results in deficient rains, a positive IOD can bring in more rains to the Indian landmass. However, Mohapatra added that some models on the other hand suggest chances of La Nina conditions that can lead to better rains during the latest part of the monsoon.
The Ministry of Earth Sciences Secretary, M Rajeevan meanwhile mentioned that the date of onset and withdrawal of the monsoon, particularly in the central and north-western regions of the country may witness some change, although it usually hits the regions by June 1 and October 15 respectively.