Indications of normal monsoon this year

New Delhi: India is likely to experience a normal monsoon for the second consecutive year, raising hopes for a good crop for millions of farmers across the country.

"There are no worrying signs as yet," D Sivananda Pai, chief forecaster and Director of the National Climate Centre told PTI.

The La Nina phenomenon, marked by intense cooling of the equatorial and east Pacific Ocean, is expected to continue till June, he said. Such condition is known to benefit the south-west monsoon.

Pai said as per current indicators, scientists do not foresee any immediate warming of the equatorial Pacific — a phenomenon that could affect the south-west monsoon.

A normal monsoon is likely to bring cheers to over 235 million farmers as it will help in sowing of rice, sugarcane, soyabean and corn and lead to high agricultural output.

El Nino, the opposite of La Nina, has co-existed with some of the worst droughts in India, the most recent being in 2009.

Last year, the country saw a normal monsoon with 413 of the 597 meteorological districts receiving normal or above normal rainfall.

Nearly one-third of the 597 districts received deficient rains, while 11 got scanty falls last year.

South Asian Climate Outlook Forum, with representatives from weather offices of the regional countries, is meeting in Pune later this month to develop a consensus-based outlook for the ensuing summer monsoon.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) is expected to come out with its long term forecast of the summer monsoon rainfall season by the end of this month.