Country likely to receive average monsoon rains in 2018, says Met department

IMD forecasts normal monsoon rains to be 97% of the long-term average, Mr K.J. Ramesh, director general of the state-run India Meteorological Department (IMD), told in a press conference.

This forecast comes with a model error of plus or minus 5%.

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.

The monsoon is considered normal if the average rainfall is between 96 to 104 per cent of long period average. In 2016, good monsoon has led to record production of oilseeds, food grains and also triggered a 4.2 per cent agriculture growth.

The average rainfall over the past 50 years, or the long-period average (LPA), is 89cm. The first stage forecast is issued in April and the second stage forecast is issued in June.

According to the weatherman, below 90 per cent rainfall is considered deficient and at 95 per cent it is considered below normal.

Normal rains in last two years helped a rebound in farm growth rate to 6.8% in 2016-17 and an estimated 3% in 2017-18.

Assessment of onset of monsoon will be done on May 15.

However, the arrival of the monsoon and its distribution would play an important part so far as the economy was concerned, experts said.

The IMD, which released its initial forecast for the four-month monsoon season, also said preliminary indications showed this year's rains would evenly distributed.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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