Rainfall is likely to be normal during the June-to-September south-west monsoon season, the government's weather office said on Monday.
Monsoon rains, the lifeblood of the country's $2 trillion economy, are expected to be 97 per cent of a long-term average, K J Ramesh, IMD's director general, told a news conference. A normal monsoon is in the range of 96-104 percent of the LPA.
As per historical data, the long-period average (LPA) rainfall - between June and September - is 89cm. The latest forecasts from the MMCFS and global models indicate weak negative IOD conditions may develop during the middle of the monsoon season. "There is thus maximum probability of normal rainfall and low probability for deficient rainfall", he said. The region-based forecast will also be available only in June when the second assessment is done, Ramesh said. Unlike the IMD, Skymet had predicted a 100 per cent normal Monsoon, with an error estimate of plus-minus 5 per cent.
According to IMD, there is 42 per cent possibility of normal rainfall and 12 per cent possibility of above normal rainfall - it means there are good chances of normal rainfall in the country.
Despite "normal" forecast, the monsoon can be affected by the El Niño conditions. The country receives some 70 per cent of its annual rainfall during the four-month Monsoon season. Probability of normal to excess rains is 56% and that of below normal and deficit rain is 44%.
The moderate La Nina conditions developed in the equatorial Pacific during last year started weakening in the early part of this year and now have turned to weak La Nina conditions.
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.