India says expects crucial southwest monsoon to be normal this year

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The critical southwest monsoon seasonal (June to September) rainfall, which feeds India’s billion plus people, is most likely to be normal this year, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) said in a statement, raising hopes a struggling economy will get a boost as the agriculture sector benefits.

“Quantitatively, the monsoon seasonal (June to September) rainfall over the country as a whole is
likely to be 103% of the Long Period Average (LPA) with a model error of ± 4%. The LPA of the
seasonal rainfall over the country as a whole based on data of 1971-2020 is 87 cm,” the statement said.

The southwest monsoon seasonal rainfall over the four homogeneous regions is most likely to be above normal for Central India (>106% of LPA) and South Peninsula (>106% of LPA). Rainfall is most likely to be Normal over Northeast India (96-106% of LPA) and Northwest India (92-108% of LPA), it added.

According to the statement, the southwest monsoon seasonal rainfall over the monsoon core zone, which consists of most of the rain-fed agriculture regions is most likely to be above normal (>106% of LPA). While agriculture is only about 15% of India’s GDP, it provides employment to almost 50% of its population.

The IMD said that monsoon seasonal rainfall is likely to be well distributed spatially with most parts of the
country expected to receive normal to above normal rainfall except some parts of east-central, east & northeast India and extreme southwest peninsular India, where it is likely to be below normal.

“Prevailing La Niña conditions are likely to continue over equatorial Pacific Ocean and development of negative IOD conditions over the Indian Ocean during the monsoon season is most likely,” the statement added.

Forecast for June

  • Rainfall–Normal or above normal rainfall is most likely over many parts of northwest & central India, northern parts of South Peninsula and some parts of east India. Below normal rainfall is most likely over many parts of northeast India, some pockets of central & east India and southern parts of south peninsular India.
  • Temperature – Below normal maximum temperatures are likely over most parts of the country except some parts of northwest India where above normal maximum temperatures are likely. Below normal minimum temperatures are likely over most parts of the country except many parts of northwest and northeast India where above normal minimum temperatures are likely.

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