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According to the IMD’s prediction on distribution of rainfall, the central India too will get ‘normal’ rainfall but the southern Peninsula – Karnataka, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry – may get ‘below normal’ rainfall.
The north-east India is expected to get least rainfall (below normal) during the period.
Prediction on distribution of rainfall (month wise and region wise) assumes significance in view of planning Kharif sowing operations (timing and choice of crops) during the monsoon season.
Coming out with its second stage long range forecast for the south-west monsoon, the IMD said, “Region wise, the season rainfall is likely to be 100 per cent of long period average (LPA) over North-West India, 99 per cent of LPA over Central India, 95 per cent of LPA over South Peninsula and 93 per cent of LPA over North-East India — all with a model error of ± 8 per cent.”
The monsoon is considered as ‘normal’ if the average rainfall is between 96-104 per cent of the LPA. The LPA of the seasonal rainfall over the country as a whole for the period 1951-2000 is 89 cm and it’s a kind of yardstick to arrive at calculating the rainfall level during monsoon.
Predicting July as the wettest month during the season, the country’s national weather forecaster said, “The monthly rainfall over the country as whole is likely to be 101 per cent of its LPA during July and 94 per cent of LPA during August both with a model error of ± 9 per cent”.
Sticking to its April (first stage long range) forecast, the IMD said, “The rainfall over the country as a whole for the 2018 southwest monsoon season (June to September) is most likely to be ‘normal’ (96 per cent to 104 per cent of LPA).
“Quantitatively, monsoon season (June to September) rainfall for the country as a whole is likely to be 97 per cent of the LPA with a model error of ±4 per cent”.
In its second stage forecast, the IMD has, however, predicted slightly higher probability of having ‘normal’ rainfall than what it had predicted in April.
Similarly, it marginally reduced the probability of having deficient rainfall (drought) this year.
The second stage prediction may further give positive signal to the farm sector as good rainfall always helps growth in agricultural and horticultural production. Increased farm production is also good for overall India’s economy as it drives rural demand and in turn helps the manufacturing sector as well.
This is the third consecutive year when the country’s national weather forecaster predicted ‘normal’ monsoon rainfall.
With the monsoon hitting Kerala three days ahead of its normal date of onset, the IMD this year released its second stage forecast almost a week in advance. The move will help the farmers to plan their sowing operation a bit early.