Monsoon will be normal this year, predicted the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) on Tuesday. The development comes despite lingering likelihoods of the unruly El Nino weather pattern that led to consecutive drought in 2014 and 2015. “India is in for a normal monsoon which will be good for agriculture and economy,” said KJ Ramesh, the director general of India Meteorological Department.
Notably, the southwest monsoon is the life force for India’s farm-dependent economy, supplying 70 per cent of the rainfall. Besides, it is vital for a predictable 263 million farmers. IMD will issue another updated forecast in June.
Ramesh said rainfall will be 96 per cent of the long-period average with an edge of 5 per cent slip. India describes average rainfall as between 96 percent and 104 percent of a 50-year average of 89 cm for the complete four-month season.
There is a 38 per cent probability that the monsoon will be better than 96 per cent, he added. The forecast is critical to the government’s expectations of attaining an anticipated growth rate of over 7.5 per cent.
There is a 50 percent chance of a weak El Nino in the second half of the season. El Nino is one of the substantial variables in the monsoon forecast. It happens when warm ocean temperatures backlog in the eastern and central Pacific equatorial region that influences global weather patterns.
“Even if there is an evolving El Nino it will impact the rainfall patterns,” said Jatin Gandhi of Skymet which has forecast 95% monsoon rain. “It is the same forecast, different only by a percent,” Gandhi said. “They (IMD) are saying normal with a 38% chance of moving towards near normal, I am saying 95% with a 50% chance of normal.” “If you are lucky you will hit normal,” Gandhi said.