Monsoon downgraded to 93%

Monsoon downgraded to 93%

Monsoon downgraded to 93%

The Met department on Monday further downgraded its monsoon forecast to 93 per cent of the average, raising concerns among policy makers in the largely agriculture dependent economy.

“The monsoon rainfall for the country as a whole between June and September is likely to be below normal at 93 per cent of the long period average with a model error of plus/minus four per cent,” Minister of State for Science and Technology Jitendra Singh said, referring to the forecast. The rainfall is expected to be 96 per cent during August.

Region wise, the seasonal rainfall is likely to be 85 per cent of long range forecast over northwest India, 94 per cent over central India, 93 per cent over the south peninsula and 99 per cent over the northeast with model error of plus/minus 8 per cent, the minister added.

Though the below average rainfall was already predicted, the current forecast is 2 per cent down from what was made earlier. The Met department had predicted a below normal monsoon rainfall of 95 per cent in April.

El-Nino condition is one of the main reasons being attributed to the possibility of less rainfall in the country.

“It is, currently, a border line case of El-nino. The condition is expected to peak from the last week of July to first week of  August. But as of now, it is at the threshold of being qualified as a weak El Nino,” IMD director-general L S Rathore said.

The minister said there was no reason to “panic” as government will make preparations to face the situation.

Earth Science Secretary Shailesh Nayak said the government has already initiated steps to meet the situation after the Met department came out with its initial forecast in April. “The cabinet secretary has already held meetings with different ministries to tackle any situation,” he said.

The monsoon is expected to arrive in Delhi at its normal date of July 29-30, he said.As the monsoon arrived in Kerala five days behind schedule, he said, there were no links between its late arrival and the advancements in the central part and the northern part of the country.

Rathore said the monsoon has been weak so far and is expected to remain so till June 14. A little rain is expected in the country as a whole, he added. Between June 1 and 8, the country has received 44 per cent rainfall of the long-period average. Its progress so far has been slow.