India to have 'normal' Monsoon this year, says IMD

Monday, 16 Apr, 2018

The prediction stands at a moderate error estimated of plus-minus 5 per cent of the Long Period Average (LPA).

However another factor, called the Indian Ocean Dipole, which if "positive" helps the monsoon and will likely not aid the monsoon's case this year. Monsoon is considered to be normal when rainfall is between 96% and 104% of the 50-year average.

The IMD, however, will forecast the onset of monsoon in middle of next month.

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.

A good monsoon is good news for the Indian economy.

The IMD will issue the update in early June, as a part of the second stage forecast.

Private weather forecasting agency Skymet has said rainfall in 2018 will be normal at 100 per cent of the LPA.

IMD in October 2017 said that while 72 per cent of the total area of the country received normal rainfall, 13 per cent area got excess rainfall and 15 per cent deficient seasonal rainfall. A normal monsoon is in the range of 96-104 percent 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".

The IMD's reasoning for the unexpected break is that it was caused by intra-seasonal variability as Pacific cyclones over Bay of Bengal pulled the monsoon currents towards them, leading to the disappearance of rains over Central and Northern India, plunging them on the brink of drought.