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Expect normal monsoon this year

delhi Updated: Apr 19, 2011 00:39 IST
Zia Haq
Zia Haq
Hindustan Times
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India’s June-September monsoon will likely be normal for most of the country, but falls could be patchy in some parts, such as its northwest and northeast, the HT has learnt.

A second straight year of good monsoon will sustain the high farm output, help tame inflation and ensure the country's economy continues to expand.

The meteorological department is slated to unveil its widely watched official forecast on Tuesday.

The summer rainfall system is critical for India, Asia’s third biggest economy, as two-thirds Indians depend on farm income and 60% of cropped areas do not have any source of irrigation.

The monsoon, which accounts for 75% of the country's total rainfall, also helps replenish 81 centrally-monitored reservoirs vital for India's water security.

“We should expect a normal monsoon,” food minister KV Thomas said.

A normal monsoon means the country will get rainfall between 96% and 104% of the long period average (50 years) of 89 centimetres.

In 2010, La Nina conditions - a weather pattern marked by cooling of Pacific waters - helped a normal monsoon, following the country's worst drought in three decades a year earlier.

According to observations, the La Nina's effects, though weakening, will still persist around June, aiding a timely start to the rains.

The monsoon's four-month trip across India starts around May-end. Typically, it must cover the entire country by mid-July for robust crops, which need to be uniformly irrigated at every stage.

Following adequate rains last year, India is likely to harvest its higher ever output of wheat (84.3 million tonnes), oilseeds (30.25 million tones) and pulses (17.3 million tonnes).

monsoon magic

The monsoon, which accounts for 75% of the country's total rainfall, also helps replenish 81 centrally-monitored reservoirs

A second straight year of good monsoon will sustain the high farm output, help tame inflation and ensure the country’s economy continues to expand.