Monsoon likely to be normal in August and September, says IMD; forecast raises hopes for kharif farming
Monsoon rains is considered normal in the range of 96-104 percent of the Long Period Average (LPA). The 90-96 percent of the LPA range is considered 'below normal'.
New Delhi: Monsoon rains will be normal in August and September, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Friday.
In the second long range forecast for rainfall during the second half of the Southwest Monsoon season, the IMD said the scenario realised till the end of July suggests that distribution of rainfall was very good across the country except Bihar, Jharkhand and north-eastern states.
The favourable distribution of rainfall was expected to continue for the next two months, it said, raising hopes for agricultural operations during the kharif season.
"The rainfall during August 2018 is likely to be 96 plus/minus 9 percent of LPA (Long Period Average) and expected to be higher than predicted in June. Quantitatively, the rainfall for the country as a whole during the second half of the season is likely to be 95 percent of LPA with a model error of plus or minus 8 percent," the IMD said.
Monsoon rains is considered normal in the range of 96-104 percent of the LPA. The 90-96 percent of the LPA range is considered "below normal".
However, IMD additional director general M Mohapatra said for August-September period the normal limit is 94-100 percent of the LPA.
Skymet Weather, a private weather forecasting agency, has downgraded its forecast for 2018's monsoon, stating that the country might receive below normal rainfall, citing the continuing warming of the sea surface in the Pacific Ocean.
The warming of the seas surface indicates towards an evolving El Nino, a natural process that inversely affects the intensity of monsoon winds in the subcontinent.
In its initial forecast in April, Skymet said the country would receive 100 percent of the LPA, which falls under "normal" category.
In its fresh forecast, Skymet added that August may end with 88 of LPA and September could perform a shade better and end with an LPA of 93 percent.
June recorded a rainfall of 155.3 mm in comparison to the normal rainfall limit of 163.3 millimetres, 95 percent of the LPA while July received 272.4-millimetre rainfall while the normal rainfall limit was 289.2 millimetres, which was 94 percent of the LPA.
On 30 May, the IMD had predicted 101 percent of the LPA for July.
Year-to-year variability would make it harder to adapt and could swamp crops during their growing stages.
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The IMD said the observed monthly average maximum, minimum and mean temperature for India as a whole during March this year is 32.65 °C, 19.95 °C and 26.30°C, respectively