NEW DELHI: In a big relief to states reeling under severe drought condition and water shortage, the weather office Thursday said that there is a 96 percent probability of monsoon to be above normal this year. The entire region but southern peninsular and northeast is likely to receive good rainfall.
The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) released the second forecast for southwest monsoon season (June-September) which projected that months of July and August are expected to see good rainfall of 107 percent and 104 percent average rainfall respectively.
IMD said that conditions are favorable for monsoon to reach Kerala in next 4-5 days which is around June 7 and then it will spread across the country soon.
“There is a zero probability of monsoon to be deficient this year while there is 96 percent chances of it to be above normal,” said IMD Director General L S Rathore.
This monsoon season, North-West India, comprising major food-producing states like Haryana and Punjab which have received deficit precipitation in the last two years, will receive 108 percent rainfall of the average.
Central India and southern peninsula will receive 113 percent of average while the northeastern region is expected to get 94 percent of rainfall which is below normal.
Anything less than 90 percent of the LPA (long period average) is termed as a "deficient" monsoon and 90-96 percent is rated as "below normal". Monsoon is considered "normal" if the LPA is between 96 and 104 percent of the LPA.
The IMD said that El Nino conditions, which affected monsoon last year, is almost neutral and negative and La Nina conditions, which results in good rainfall, has developed.
“Recent changes in the atmospheric conditions over the Pacific reflect the weakening El Niño conditions. Latest forecast from IMD-IITM (Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology) coupled model indicate ENSO (El Niño - Southern Oscillations) neutral conditions are likely to continue and turn to weak La Nina conditions in the latter part of the monsoon season,” said the IMD.
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.