IMD confirms above-average monsoon rains for this year

New Delhi: India Meteorological Department (IMD) has forecasted above-average monsoon rains in the country this year in its Updated Long Range Forecast Outlook on Monday, confirming its April forecast of a good monsoon.

“Quantitatively, the southwest monsoon seasonal rainfall over the country as a whole is likely to be 106 per cent of the Long Period Average (LPA) with a model error of 4 per cent. Thus above normal rainfall is most likely over the country as a whole during the monsoon season from June to September 2024,” IMD said.

IMD has based the forecast of the good monsoon on the fact that the strong El Nino conditions which tend to disrupt the monsoon have weakened rapidly into weak El Nino conditions and are currently transitioning into ENSO-neutral conditions.

The latest climate model forecasts indicate ENSO-neutral conditions are likely to establish during the beginning of the monsoon season and La Nina conditions, which result in good rains, are likely to develop during the later part of the monsoon season.

IMD has announced that this year the southwest monsoon is likely to set in over Kerala on May 31.

A good monsoon augurs well for the country’s agricultural sector which was hit by erratic weather last year. The monsoon plays a key role in the Indian economy as close to 50 per cent of the country’s farmland does not have any other source of irrigation.

The monsoon rains are also crucial for recharging the country’s reservoirs and aquifers from which the water can be used later in the year to irrigate crops.

India has emerged as a key exporter of foodgrains but had to resort to curbing overseas shipments of sugar, rice, wheat and onions in order to increase domestic supplies and keep prices in check due to the erratic monsoon last year which hit farm production.

The IMD defines average or normal rainfall as between 96 per cent and 104 per cent of a 50-year average of 87 cm (35 inches) for the June-Sept season.

–IANS

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