After last year's drought, IMD predicts normal monsoon
After an year-long drought, the country's weather office on Wednesday said the good news now is that the rainfall during this monsoon season (June to September) is likely to be normal and July rains, important for farmers, are expected to be above normal.
"Indian Meteorlogical Department (IMD) has introduced new models for the long range forcast of the south-west monsoon, using which it is possible to issue forecast in two stages," IMD chief Dr R R Kelkar told reporters here.
"We had issued a forcast using the new 8-parameter model in April," Kelkar said releasing IMD's first ever updated monsoon forecast.
In the updated forcast, IMD gave better figures in terms of probability of drought - while in April, it had given 21 per cent probability of drought for this year, the forecast today said that there was only 6 per cent such probability.
"The Long range forecast update is that seasonal rainfall for the counrty as a whole is likely to be 98 per cent of the Long Period Average (LPA). That means a normal monsoon," Kelkar said. The figure issued in April was 96 per cent of the LPA, that falls in the category of below normal.
Kelkar said while July rainfall last year was about 50 per cent below normal, "our models indicate that this year it is going to be 102 per of its LPA." The LPA for July is about 29.4 cm.
Though the onset of monsoon over Kerala was delayed by about a week, many parts of the country had received good premonsoon and monsoon rains, providing relief from the water stress situation.