India to get normal monsoon rains in 2018: IMD

Sashastra Seema Bal personnel on election duty sip tender coconuts to beat the heat at Majestic in Bengaluru on Saturday | Shriram B N

As per historical data, the long-period average (LPA) rainfall - between June and September - is 89cm. The average rainfall in "above normal" monsoon is between 104-110 per cent of the LPA while anything beyond 110 per cent of the LPA is considered as "excess".

Forecast suggests maximum probability for normal rainfall and a low probability for deficient rainfall during the season.

A good monsoon is good news for the Indian economy.

The IMD, which released its initial forecast for the four-month monsoon season, also said preliminary indications showed this year's rains would evenly distributed.

The 2017 southwest monsoon season saw below-normal rainfall at 95 percent of the LPA, against the India Meteorological Department (IMD) forecast of normal rainfall at 98 percent of the LPA with a model error of plus and minus 4 percent.

As per the IMD, there is 42 percent possibility of normal rainfall and 12 percent possibility of heavy rainfall - it means the country can witness some rainfall in the country.

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However, the monsoon can be affected by the El NiƱo conditions. At that point of time, apart from an updated forecast for the country as a whole and the season in its entirety, the department would issue separate forecasts for rainfall for the months of July and August for the country as a whole and season-wide rainfall for the four distinct geographical areas - north-west India, south peninsula, north-east India and Central India.

IMD's forecast of 97% rainfall comes with a model error of (plus-minus) 5%.

The onset of the monsoon in June kick-starts planting of rain-fed Kharif crops.

This is the third uninterrupted year when the IMD forecasted the normal monsoon rains in the nation.

As 65 percent agricultural land in the country is rainfed, Monsoon plays very crucial role in the agriculture sector and Indian economy as the sector gives livelihoods to over half the country's population.

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