There is no possibility of a “deficient” monsoon this year and 96 per cent chances are that the rainfall would be “normal to excess”, India meteorological department said on Thursday, news that would bring some cheer to the farmers.
The country as a whole is expected to receive good rainfall this year, barring northeastern India, which is likely to witness “below normal” rainfall.
July and August are expected to receive 107 per cent and 104 per cent of rainfall of the long period average.
Releasing the second long range forecast, IMD Director General Laxman Singh Rathore said there is not much difference between the initial forecast by the agency and the monsoon season (from June to September) will receive 106 per cent of rainfall of the long period average, which is “above normal”.
“There are zero per cent chances of the country receiving deficient rainfall while the possibility of normal to excess rainfall is 96 per cent,” Rathore said.
Terming the rainfall in Kerala as a “pre-monsoon showers”, Rathore said southwest monsoon is expected to hit the state in the next four-five days.
Rathore said once the monsoon hits Kerala, its progress will be quick, especially in eastern and central India. Several parts of the country are facing intense heat.
This monsoon season, north-west India, comprising major food-producing states like Haryana and Punjab which have witnessed deficient precipitation in the last two years, will receive 108 per cent rainfall of the LPA.
Central India and southern peninsula will receive 113 per cent of LPA while the northeastern region is expected to get 94 per cent of rainfall which is “below normal”.
Anything less than 90 per cent of the LPA is termed as a “deficient” monsoon and 90-96 per cent is rated as “below normal”. Monsoon is considered “normal” if the LPA is between 96 and 104 per cent of the LPA.
“Above normal” monsoon is between 104-110 per cent of the LPA and anything beyond 110 per cent is considered “excess”.
Agriculture, which contributes 15 per cent to India’s GDP and employs about 60 per cent of the country’s population, is heavily dependent on the monsoon as only 40 per cent of the cultivable area is under irrigation.
Several parts of the country are reeling under intense drought-like conditions, especially Vidarbha and Marathwada regions of Maharashtra and Bundelkhand, which is spread over Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.
Due to poor monsoon in 2015-16 crop year (July-June), 10 states have declared drought and the Centre has sanctioned about Rs 10,000 crore by way of relief to help the farmers.
Skymet, a private weather forecasting agency, has said it “appears” that monsoon has hit the Kerala coast. However, Rathore refused to comment on it.
“The rains in Kerela can be termed as pre-monsoon showers. Conditions are favourable for further progress of the monsoon in next four-five days,” Rathore said.