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“Monsoon 2018 is likely to remain normal at 97 per cent (with an error margin of +/-5 per cent) of the long period average (LPA) for the four-month period from June to September”, said IMD director general K J Ramesh.
The IMD forecast comes days after a similar prediction by the private weather forecast agency Skymet Weather, which on April 4 said the Monsoon 2018 was likely to remain normal at 100 per cent (with an error margin of +/-5 per cent) of the long period average (LPA) of 887 mm for the four-month period from June to September.
Monsoon is considered as ‘normal’ if the average rainfall is between 96-104 per cent of the LPA. 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’.
Ramesh said the country would not face deficient rainfall during monsoon season this year.
According to IMD, there is 42 per cent possibility of normal rainfall and 12 per cent possibility of above normal rainfall – it means there are good chances of normal rainfall in the country.
Monsoon will hit the country’s mainland in Kerala in last week of May or in the first week of June.
The IMD, however, will forecast the onset of monsoon in middle of next month.
Forecast on distribution of rainfall and prediction on monthly rains for July, August and September will be made by the IMD in early June.
This is the third consecutive year when the IMD predicted normal monsoon rains for the country. India had 95 per cent of the LPA rainfall last year — as against the first forecast of 96 per cent of the LPA (with an error margin of +/- 5 per cent).
India had faced deficient rains during monsoon season in 2015 and 2014, making both these years drought years.