IMD to issue forecast for 2018 southwest monsoon rains today

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As per historical data of the past 50 years, the long-period average (LPA) rainfall - between June and September - is 89cm.

Anything less than 90 per cent of LPA is termed a "deficient" monsoon, and 90-96 per cent of the same is considered "below normal".

India is likely to receive normal monsoon rains in 2018, IMD said, raising the probability of higher farm and economic growth in Asia's third-biggest economy, where half of the farmland lacks irrigation.

Ramesh said about the nation that the country does not face lacking rainfall throughout monsoon season on this 2019.

Issuing its first Long Range Forecast (LRF) for southwest monsoon on Monday, the Indian Meteorological Department predicted normal rainfall this year. Last year, rainfall was close to normal at 95% of the LPA, while in 2016 rains were recorded at 97% of LPA.

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On April 4, private weather forecast agency Skymet Weather had released similar forecast that the four-month long Southwest Monsoon which gives about 70 percent of India's annual rainfall, would be normal.

The date of onset of the monsoon is likely to be announced in the middle of May.

IMD's forecast of 97% rainfall comes with a model error of (plus-minus) 5%. A year ago also, there was a normal monsoon forecast by the IMD.

There was a probability of 42 per cent for a normal rainfall, followed by 12 per cent for above normal, 30 per cent for below normal, two percent for excess and 14 per cent for deficient rainfall.

The IMD's reasoning for the unexpected break is that it was caused by intra-seasonal variability as Pacific cyclones over Bay of Bengal pulled the monsoon currents towards them, leading to the disappearance of rains over Central and Northern India, plunging them on the brink of drought. The upcoming Kharif season is entirely based on Monsoon rains.