Normal rains forecast this summer for most of India except the northeast

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India’s weather office forecast normal monsoon rains this summer for most of the country, but said it expected deficient rainfall in the country’s northeast.

Quantitatively, the season rainfall for the country as a whole is likely to be 97% of the long period average (LPA) with a model error of ±4%. The LPA rainfall over the country as a whole for the period 1951-2000 is 89 cm, the Ministry of Earth Sciences said in its second stage long range forecast. The first forecast was made in April.

“The season rainfall is likely to be 100% of LPA over northwest India, 99% of LPA over central India, 95% of LPA over South Peninsula, and 93% of LPA over northeast India all with a model error of ± 8 %,” the statement added.

The much-awaited southwest monsoon hit the shores of southern Indian state of Kerala on Tuesday, three days ahead of scheduled arrival, bringing cheers to tens of millions in a country where rains are important for farmers, industry and politicians alike.

The monsoon normally reaches Kerala on June 1.

  • Rainfall over the country as a whole for the 2018 southwest monsoon season (June to September) is most likely to be normal (96% to 104% of long period average (LPA)).
  • Quantitatively, monsoon season (June to September) rainfall for the country as a whole is likely to be 97% of the LPA with a model error of ±4%.
  • Region wise, the season rainfall is likely to be 100% of LPA over North-West India, 99% of LPA over Central India, 95% of LPA over South Peninsula and 93% of LPA over North-East India all with a model error of ± 8 %.
  • The monthly rainfall over the country as whole is likely to be 101% of its LPA during July and 94% of LPA during August both with a model error of ± 9 %.

Monsoons brings about 70 percent of India’s annual rainfall and good rains typically spurs farm output and boosts rural spending critical for the $2.5 trillion economy.

The early arrival of monsoon rains typically enables farmers to bring forward sowing of crops such as rice, sugar cane, corn, cotton and soybeans because nearly half the country’s farmland lacks irrigation.

A strong monsoon that helps control inflation could be a boon to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party ahead of general elections next year.

There is also a possibility that the government might try to pul polling ahead to build on the positive impact of monsoon if rains are good.

Shekhar Ghosh is consulting editor, Indoasiancommodities.com. He has edited and written for publications like Business India, Business Standard, Business Today, Outlook and many other international publications. He can be reached at shekhar.ghosh@indoasiancommodities.in.

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