Monsoon to be normal in August-September: IMD

In the second Long Range Forecast for rainfall during the second half of the Southwest Monsoon season, the IMD said the scenario realised till the end of July suggested that distribution of rainfall was very good across the country except Bihar, Jharkhand and north-eastern states.

india Updated: Aug 03, 2018 21:09 IST
Monsoon,Long Range Forecast,India Meteorological Department
The favourable distribution of rainfall was expected to continue for the next two months, IMD said, raising hopes for agricultural operations during the kharif season.(AP)

Monsoon rains would be normal in August and September, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Friday.

In the second Long Range Forecast for rainfall during the second half of the Southwest Monsoon season, the IMD said the scenario realised till the end of July suggested that distribution of rainfall was very good across the country except Bihar, Jharkhand and north-eastern states.

The favourable distribution of rainfall was expected to continue for the next two months, it said, raising hopes for agricultural operations during the kharif season.

“Rainfall during August-2018 is likely to be 96 plus/minus 9% of LPA and expected to be higher than predicted in June. Quantitatively, the rainfall for the country as a whole during the second half of the season is likely to be 95% of LPA (Long Period Average ) with a model error of plus or minus 8%,” the IMD said.

Monsoon rain is considered normal in the range of 96-104 per cent of the LPA. The 90-96 pc of the LPA range is considered “below normal”. However, IMD additional director general M Mohapatra said for August-September period the normal limit was 94-106% of LPA.

This was unusual, said a former senior IMD official, as this was akin to changing the goalpost.

“Deficient, below normal, normal, above normal and excess are five parameters to define the outcome of the monsoon. Rainfall under between 90-96% of the LPA is considered as below normal while 96-104% of rainfall is considered as normal. So, it would not be right put 94-106% of LPA under the normal monsoon category,” the official added.

Skymet, a private weather forecasting agency, downgraded its forecast for this year’s monsoon, stating that the country might receive below normal rainfall, citing the continuing warming of the sea surface in the Pacific Ocean.

The warming of the seas surface indicates towards an evolving El Nino, a natural process that inversely affects the intensity of monsoon winds in the subcontinent. In its initial forecast in April, Skymet said the country would receive 100% of LPA, which falls under “normal” category.

In its fresh forecast, it added that August may end with 88 of LPA and September could perform a shade better and end with an LPA of 93%.

June recorded a rainfall of 155.3 mm in comparison to the normal rainfall limit of 163.3 mm, 95% of the LPA while July received 272.4 mm rainfall even as the normal rainfall limit was 289.2 mm, which was 94% of the LPA.

On May 30, the IMD had predicted 101% of the LPA for July.

First Published: Aug 03, 2018 21:08 IST