IMD predicts normal monsoon rainfall in 2018

Nagpur The Regional Meteorological Centre has issued thunderstorm and rainfall warning for the next 24 hours at isolated places of Vidarbha

The 2017 southwest monsoon season saw below-normal rainfall at 95 percent of the LPA, against the India Meteorological Department (IMD) forecast of normal rainfall at 98 percent of the LPA with a model error of plus and minus 4 percent. The IMD predicted 97 per cent chance of near-normal showers.

However another factor, called the Indian Ocean Dipole, which if "positive" helps the monsoon and will likely not aid the monsoon's case this year.

India is likely to receive average monsoon rains in 2018, the meteorological department said, raising the possibility of higher farm and economic growth in Asia's third-biggest economy, where half of the farmland lacks irrigation.

The negative fallout of a good monsoon followed by a good harvest is that unless it is supported by strong offtake measures it could lead to a glut in many crops plummeting farm incomes.

The monsoon is considered normal if the average rainfall is between 96 to 104 per cent of LPA.

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The date of onset of monsoon will be announced in the middle of May.

The four-month monsoon season provides about 70 per cent of the country's annual rainfall.

IMD will update its forecast in early June with numbers on month and region-wise distribution of the monsoon.

Anything less than 90 per cent of LPA is termed a "deficient" monsoon, and 90-96 per cent of the same is considered "below normal". India had faced deficient rains during monsoon season in 2015 and 2014, making both these years drought years.

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