BHUBANESWAR: Amidst the gloom of severe drought and the mercury mayhem, comes the good news - the 2016 monsoon will be above normal.
Both national weather agency India Meteorological Department (IMD) and Skymet, a private forecaster, have predicted the South West Monsoon to be above normal. While Skymet, which first released the predictions, stated that monsoon will be 105 per cent of the long period average (LPA), the IMD on Tuesday went a step further and pegged the monsoon at 106 per cent.
The IMD said there is 94 per cent probability that monsoon will be normal to excess this year. Monsoon distribution is expected to be fair across the country although there is possibility of North-East and South-East States, particularly Tamil Nadu, getting slightly less rainfall than normal. The arid Marathawada is also likely to receive good rainfall.
Skymet which put the monsoon at 105 per cent of the LPA was more specific in its report. It said the June rainfall is expected to be 90 per cent of the long period average while July and August will be above normal at 105 and 108 per cent of LPA respectively. Similarly, September too will be above normal at 115 per cent.
Odisha, which reeled under drought last year and witnessed a spate of farmer suicides, has a reason to cheer with the monsoon forecasts.
Both IMD and Skymet have predicted that Central India would receive good showers.
As many as 235 blocks in 28 districts of the State were affected by drought last year and about 21.6 lakh hectare crop area suffered damage while 15.36 lakh hectare sustained 33 per cent losses or more. The State Government submitted a drought memorandum to the Centre calculating the cumulative losses at `2345 crore.
“From the monsoon forecast, we can say that Odisha, which is a part of Central India, will get above normal rains,” Director, IMD, Odisha Sarat Chandra Sahu said.
The Skymet said rainfall departure is expected to be five per cent on the excess side in the June-September period during which Central and West Coast may receive good rainfall. Monsoon onset is expected to be normal (June 1) and would result in good rainfall over Peninsular India although its progress to North India is expected to be sluggish in the first month, it added. In July too, five per cent excess rains are expected as monsoon will be normal and above normal over most parts of the country. However, Tamil Nadu and Rayalseema may receive less showers than normal. August and September are likely to be particularly good with eight and 15 per cent excess rainfall respectively. Central and West India will have a very good showers during the month. September rains may also be above normal.