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

Sashastra Seema Bal personnel on election duty sip tender coconuts to beat the heat at Majestic in Bengaluru on Saturday | Shriram B N

Sashastra Seema Bal personnel on election duty sip tender coconuts to beat the heat at Majestic in Bengaluru on Saturday | Shriram B N

In a news that would bring cheer to the Indian economy, the IMD says the country would experience normal monsoon this year.

As per the local weather forecast, there is a possibility of rain, thunderstorm or dust-storm in various districts of the region. "Monsoon 2018 is likely to remain normal at 97 per cent (with an error margin of +/-5 per cent) of the long period average (LPA) for the four-month period from June to September", Ramesh told a press conference. India receives 89 cm of rainfall during the four-month monsoon season, which is nearly 75 per cent of its annual rainfall.

The IMD issues its first monsoon forecast in April and updates it in June.

Anything less than 90 per cent of LPA is termed a "deficient" monsoon, and 90-96 per cent of the same is considered "below normal".

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

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Despite "normal" forecast, the monsoon can be affected by the El Niño conditions.

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

The forecast based on the MMCFS suggests that the monsoon rainfall during the 2018 monsoon season (June to September) averaged over the country as a whole is likely to be 99% ± 5% of the Long Period Average (LPA). Last year, rainfall was close to normal at 95% of the LPA, while in 2016 rains were recorded at 97% of LPA.

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.

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