The Met Department on Tuesday June 06,2017 upgraded the South-West monsoon forecast to 98 per cent of the long-term average rainfall from 96 per cent earlier. Rainfall during the June-September monsoon season is expected to be normal, with a high possibility of all four broad geographical regions receiving evenly distributed rains.
This raises the prospects of higher farm and economic growth.
In its first operational long range forecast issued in April, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) had projected rainfall of 96 per cent of the 50-year average of 89 cm.
The probability of the total seasonal rainfall being in the near normal range of 96-104 per cent of average annual rainfall has increased to 50 per cent from 38 per cent earlier, the Department said.
The South-West monsoon hit Kerala on May 30, two days ahead of schedule, and is seen to be progressing well
The improved projections in the latest forecast follows the low probability of a strong El Nino condition emerging during the latter part of the four-month monsoon season. A dynamic model developed as part of the on-going National Monsoon Mission indicated that El Nino conditions will be neutral till end of this year.
“In view of this positive development, we upgrade the monsoon forecast by 2 percentage points,” said IMD Director-General KJ Ramesh. Some global models, on the other hand, suggested about 60 per cent chance of weak El Nino conditions developing during the second half of the year, the IMD said.
During the kharif sowing months of July and August, rainfall is likely to be 96 per cent and 99 per cent, respectively. The model, however, factors in an error margin of plus or minus 9 per cent. More importantly, the Met Department said there was a possibility of all four broad geographic regions receiving fairly good rainfall. Central India is expected to get 100 per cent of average annual rainfall, Southern Peninsula 99 per cent and North-East and North-West India 96 per cent each, according to the IMD. Last season, both the Southern Peninsula and the North-East suffered from a bad monsoon.
“Signs are good so far,” said D Sivanand Pai, who heads the IMD’s long-range forecasting team at Pune