IMD predicts 2% dip in monsoon rain for next two months

IMD predicts 2% dip in monsoon rain for next two months

A woman walks with a umbrella during a sudden downpour near Vidhana Soudha, in Bengaluru. (DH File Photo/Janardhan B K)

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Friday predicted a marginal dip in the monsoon rainfall in the second half of the season with 95% of average rainfall in August and September.

In the first two months, most of the country, except Bihar, Jharkhand and the Northeastern (N-E) states, received good rainfall. The trend is expected to continue.

“The rainfall for the country as a whole during the second half of the season (August and September) is likely to be 95% of LPA with a model error of plus or minus 8%,” IMD stated on Friday. Based on actual rainfall received between 1951 and 2000, India's long period average rainfall is 89 cm. The calculations were made after taking the rainfall data till July 31 into account.

In its previous two forecasts issued in April and May, the national forecaster predicted 97% average rainfall for the country, relying on favourable climate parameters.

The Met office has now downgraded its earlier estimate to predict 95% of average rainfall in the remaining part of the season.

The IMD's probability calculation suggests 47% chance of monsoon becoming “below normal” while there is a 41% chance of it being normal. Receiving “above normal" rainfall is unlikely as the probability for such an occurrence is only 12%.

But the Met agency ruled out any reason for panic on the agriculture front because of “good distribution” of monsoon in June and July. Almost the entire country, barring the two eastern states, a large chunk of the N-E region and Lakshadweep, received copious rainfall.

Mid-season rainfall scenario realised over the country till the end of July 2018 suggests that distribution of rainfall is very good across parts of the country except for Bihar, Jharkhand and N-E states. Such a scenario of favourable distribution of rainfall is expected to continue during the rest of the season and will remain favourable for agricultural operations.

The rainfall during August 2018 is likely to be 96% with a model error of 9% of LPA on either side and is expected to be higher than predicted in June.

The IMD forecast came two days after private forecaster Skymet announced a “below normal” rainfall for the season with 92% average rainfall because of the emergence of El Nino – an unusual cooling of the Pacific Ocean that plays havoc with the weather conditions around the world.

According to IMD's own definition, if the rainfall goes below 94% of the LPA, it will be called “below normal” monsoon.

“As of now, the oceanic parameters are not at all favourable for enhancing monsoon rains during the second half of the season. The rainiest pockets of northeast India and west coast are likely to perform poorer than usual. Break monsoon conditions are also expected in August," Skymet had stated.

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