India says expects “above normal” monsoon as El Nino retracts

Rain-starved farmers in India received their first good news in two years when the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) said that the monsoon this year is expected to be above normal, raising hopes for a revival in the critical rural economy.

The Ministry of Earth Science said in a statement that the monsoon this year was to likely to be 106 percent of the Long Period Average (LPA), which is average of the seasonal rainfall over the country as a whole for the period 1951-2000.

The forecast comes as the dreaded El Nino weather phenomenon that wreaked havoc over the world in the past two years is seen to be easing just as the Indian monsoon gathers steam from July.

IMD Director General L.S. Rathore said there could be a possibility of excess rainfall in some parts, but its prediction is difficult as of now.

“We expect rainfall in all four months from June to September to be more than normal, with it gathering steam during the second half of the season,” Rathore told reporters. He said there is a chance of rainfall in the northeast and parts of Tamil Nadu and Rayalaseema being below normal, but given the quantum of rainfall in these parts is more than other areas, the impact would not be much.

The IMD will issue the update forecasts in June, 2016 as a part of the second stage forecast. Along with the update forecast, separate forecasts for the monthly (July and August) rainfall over the country as a whole and seasonal (June-September) rainfall over the four geographical regions of India will also be issued.





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