NEW DELHI: In a big relief for the Centre, the country is expected to receive above average rainfall this monsoon with most parts leaving Tamil Nadu and northeast likely to receive good rainfall this year after two consecutive years of drought.
Monsoon will be 106 percent of the long period average (LPA) and there is 94 percent probability that monsoon will be normal to excess this year, said IMD Director General Laxman Singh Rathore after releasing its monsoon forecast for the season.
“By and large, there will be fair distribution of monsoon across the country. But North-East India and South-East India particularly Tamil Nadu and Rayalseema may get slightly less than normal Rainfall," said Rathore.
He further said that the onset on monsoon over Kerala which June 1 is expected to be in time and it is expected that there will be no delay in spread of monsoon in the entire country
DS Pai, head of Long Range Forecasting (LRF) division of the India Meteorology Department (IMD), said that southern and northeast India generally receives less rainfall when there is forecast for a good rains in rest of the country. Drought-hit Marathwada is also likely to receive good rainfall.
Pai said that El Nino which was responsible for weakening of monsoon last year is expected to decline by middle of monsoon and to reach neutral levels as monsoon progresses.
“Another favorable factor is development of La Nina phenomena which is associated with higher than normal rainfall. Besides, Indian Ocean Diapole is neutral and positive which is also good for monsoon,” said Pai.
The IMD will release the second forecast for monsoon in May.
Monsoon accounts for more than 70 percent of the rainfall and agriculture, which contributes 15 percent to India's GDP and employs about 60 percent of the country's population, is heavily dependent on the monsoon as only 40 percent of the cultivable area is under irrigation.
Ten states have declared drought due to poor monsoon in last two years and a good monsoon year for the country will provide much needed relief to farm and economic sector.