Monsoon likely to be normal this year: Skymet

New Delhi: Monsoon in India is likely to be normal with no chances of drought this year, private forecaster Skymet said on Wednesday, bringing relief to the country.

The forecaster said there were 5 per cent chances of excess rainfall that is more than 110 percent of long-period average (LPA).

The average, or normal, rainfall in the country is defined between 96 and 104 per cent of a 50-year average for the entire four-month monsoon season. If it is normal, the country will record 887 mm for the four-month period from June to September.

“The onset month of June and the withdrawal month of September give a promising picture in terms of good countrywide rainfall distribution,” Skymet said in its report.

The official forecaster, India Meteorological Department, is expected to come up with its monsoon predictions later this month.

In its forecast bulletin, Skymet drew up three more scenarios likely for the season — ranging from below normal to excess rainfall with an error margin of plus-minus 5 per cent.

There are 20 per cent chances of above normal which is between 105 to 110 per cent of LPA.

Chances of normal, which is seasonal rainfall between 96 to 104 per cent of LPA, are 55 per cent.

Below normal rainfall, which is between 90 to 95 per cent of LPA, are 20 per cent.

There is “0 per cent chance of drought or seasonal rainfall that is less than 90 per cent of LPA”, the forecaster said.

Normal rainfall in the country is critical for rice, cane, corn, cotton and soybean cultivation.

However, the agency said key monsoon months of July (97 per cent) and August (96 per cent) would see “below normal” rains. The two months, which bring in half the monsoon rains, are critical for a good crop harvest.

But June is likely to receive excess rainfall. September is also going to have normal rainfall with 101 per cent of LPA.

In terms of geographical risk, Skymet expected that Peninsular India along with major portion of northeast India was likely to be at “higher risk of being rain deficient throughout the season”.

About the pre-monsoon heat across the country, Skymet said it “is a positive indicator and points towards normal monsoon”.

“Similar conditions are presently prevailing across the country. In fact, weathermen are of the view that pre-monsoon season would be slightly below normal, paving the way for intense heat before the onset of monsoon.”