THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Southwest monsoon seasonal rainfall over the country is most likely to be normal in the coming season, said a forecast issued by the Indian Meteorological Department.
The IMD issues a two-stage forecast: the first in April, followed by a more detailed one in the last week of May, which will also have details like how the monsoon will spread over the country.
According to the April forecast, the monsoon seasonal (June to September) rainfall is likely to be 98% of the Long Period Average (LPA) with a model error of ± 5%. The LPA of the season rainfall over the country as a whole for the period 1961-2010 is 88 cm.
In the case of Kerala, the state used to get around 204.9 cm rain during the 120-day long southwest monsoon season. Last year, the state had received 9 percent above normal rainfall with the state recording 222.79 cm rain against the average of 204.92 cm. Kerala is the first point of entry for the monsoon weather system in the Indian mainland and June 1 is the normal date for the onset of monsoon over Kerala. The date of arrival of the monsoon and other details will be provided in the May forecast of IMD.
"Neutral ENSO conditions are prevailing over the Pacific Ocean and Neutral Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) conditions are prevailing over the Indian Ocean. As the sea surface temperature (SST) conditions over the Pacific and the Indian Oceans are known to have strong influence on Indian monsoon, IMD is carefully monitoring the evolution of sea surface conditions over these Ocean basins.
IMD will issue the updated forecasts in the last week of May. "In addition to the update for the April forecast, forecasts for monsoon season (June-September) rainfall for four homogenous regions and forecast for the month of June will also be issued in May forecast" said the IMD bulletin.