South will have below-normal rain: Skymet

South will have below-normal rain: Skymet

A private weather forecaster, Skymet on Wednesday predicted "normal southwest monsoon" for India in 2018.

Normal rainfall was predicted for most of the country, barring the southern peninsula and major portions of northeast India that are likely to witness "below normal" rainfall this season.

The Skymet prediction comes more than two weeks before the first official forecast from the India Meteorological Department.

"India is most likely to witness normal monsoon rains at 100% of the Long Period Average, which is 887 mm," Skymet said in a statement. The forecast comes with an error margin of 5% on either side.

The agency predicts a 20% chance of above normal monsoon rains; 20% chance of below normal rains and no chance of a drought.

June might record an excess rainfall whereas July is likely to be normal. August is expected to record below normal rainfall before the monsoon picks up again in September.

In its April 1 summer outlook, the IMD noted that the current sea surface temperature conditions that are prevailing over the equatorial Pacific Ocean suggest a prevalence of La Nia conditionscooling of sea surface temperature benefiting the Indian monsoon mostly.

IMD's monsoon model forecasting system indicates that the La Nia conditions are likely to continue for the next few months. If that happens, it is likely to boost the monsoon.

"Devolving La Nia and a gradual warming of the Pacific is ruling out the possibility of excess rains. Nevertheless, Nino index and neutral IOD (Indian Ocean Dipole, a temperature seesaw between the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea) may not have any adverse impact on the monsoon performance and thus, monsoon 2018 is likely to be normal," Jatin Singh, Chief Executive Officer of the Skymet said.

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