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Monsoon 2018: IMD Forecasts Normal Rainfall, At 97% Of LPA

16 Apr 2018 3:48 pm
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MUMBAI (Commoditiescontrol) - India’s crucial monsoon rains are expected to be of an average amount in 2018, the weather office said on Monday, easing concerns over farm and economic growth in the world’s leading producer of an array of agricultural goods.

The monsoon is the lifeblood for India’s farm-dependent $2 trillion economy and nearly two thirds of India’s 1.3 billion people depend on agriculture for a living.

Monsoon rains this year are expected to be 97 percent of the long-period average (LPA) with model error of +/- of 5%, K. J. Ramesh, director general of the state-run India Meteorological Department, told a news conference.

India’s weather office defines average, or normal, rainfall as between 96 percent and 104 percent of a 50-year average of 89 cm for the entire four-month season beginning June and low probability for deficient rainfall during the season.

IMD will issue the update in early June, 2018 as a part of the second stage forecast. Along with the updated forecast, separate forecasts for the monthly (July and August) rainfall over the country as a whole and seasonal (June-September) rainfall over the four geographical regions of India will also be issued.

The moderate La Nina conditions developed in the equatorial Pacific during last year started weakening in the early part of this year and currently have turned to weak La Nina conditions. The latest forecasts from MMCFS & other global models indicate conditions over the Pacific to turn to neutral ENSO conditions before the beginning of the monsoon season, said IMD Chief.

As the extreme sea surface temperature conditions over the Pacific and Indian Oceans particularly ENSO conditions over the Pacific (El Nino or La Nina) are known to have strong influence on the Indian summer monsoon, IMD is carefully monitoring the sea surface conditions over the Pacific and Indian oceans, he added.

The monsoon delivers about 70 percent of India’s annual rainfall, critical for growing crops such as rice, sugar cane, corn, cotton and soybeans because nearly half of the country’s farmland lacks irrigation.

(By Commoditiescontrol Bureau; +91-22-40015533)

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