Good news for farmers as IMP predicts normal monsoon in India

  • Good news for farmers as IMP predicts normal monsoon in India

Good news for farmers as IMP predicts normal monsoon in India

The country will get a normal monsoon this year, benefiting agriculture, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) announced on Tuesday.

Monsoon rains in 2017 would be at 96 per cent of the long-term average, K.J. Ramesh, director general of the state-run India Meteorological Department, told a news conference.

The IMD will issue the updated forecast in early June for the second part of the monsoon, and by that time, more information on the evolution of El Nino and IOD (India Ocean Dipole) will be available, Mr Ramesh said.

"El Nino" is a climatic phenomenon which is the warm phase of the cycle of warm and cold temperatures in the Pacific Ocean that also impacts the monsoon. In 1997, the country experienced 102 per cent monsoon when both phenomenon were optimal.

India's long period monsoon average is 88 cm, which means that the country as a whole is likely to receive 88 cm of rainfall between June and September.

Anything between 96 and 104 per cent of the LPA is considered "normal", while under 96 per cent rainfall is categorised as "below normal". IMD makes its forecast on the basis of two sets of mathematical models.

Senior meteorologists explained that including the dynamic model into the 2017 forecast has "complicated" the probability distribution of rainfall amounts because the process of "reconciling" the probabilities generated by the statistical model forecast and the dynamical model forecast is hard.

Last year, the IMD had forecast that rainfall in the monsoon season would be 106 per cent of LPA.

Private weather forecaster Skymet has predicted 95 per cent rainfall with a margin of plus or minus 5 per cent for 2017 due to fears of El Nino this year.

Reactions poured in after the IMD's announcements.

Icra said that in addition to the overall level, the timing of rainfall would be crucial.

"The 2016 southwest monsoon has ended with normal rainfall", the report had quoted the ministry of earth sciences as saying.

The normal monsoon a year ago aided a rebound in agriculture growth to 4.2 per cent (2016-17), after a dismal 1.2 per cent increase and a 0.2 per cent contraction seen in 2015-16 and 2014-15, respectively. "Higher rainfall in the early part of the monsoon may support sowing".

According to the Union Water Resources Ministry, reservoir storage is now at around 31 per cent of full capacity.