IMD forecasts normal monsoon this year

IMD forecasts normal monsoon this year

The IMD predicted 97 per cent chance of near-normal showers.

Last year, the country as a whole received rainfall that was 95 per cent of its long-period average.

However, a clearer picture of the season, which normally extends from June 1 to September 30, would only be available in June, IMD said.

About half of India's farm output comes from summer-sown kharif crops, such as rice, sugar, cotton, coarse cereals, which are dependent on South-west monsoon. The country receives some 70 per cent of its annual rainfall during the four-month Monsoon season. These forecasts are prepared using state-of-the-art Statistical Ensemble Forecasting system (SEFS) that is critically reviewed and improved regularly through in-house research activities.

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The top IMD official said there was "very less probability" of a deficient Monsoon this year, and added that the date of onset of Monsoon will be declared in the middle of the month of May.

Private weather forecasting agency Skymet has said rainfall in 2018 will be normal at 100 per cent of the LPA. Less than 90 per cent LPA is termed "deficient" monsoon, and 90-96 per cent of the same is considered "below normal".

Monsoon rains, the lifeblood of the country's $2 trillion economy, are expected to be 97 percent of a long-term average, K.J. Ramesh, director general of the state-run India Meteorological Department (IMD), told a news conference.

The rains after making a steady start in June and July, went for an extended break in August and also till early September which pulled down the total cumulative seasonal rainfall.

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