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Monsoon 2018 forecast: Met dept predicts normal rainfall, at 97% of LPA

Monsoon, Farmer, Farm, AgricultureThe southwest monsoon, the lifeline for millions of farmers across India, is expected to be normal in 2018, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Tuesday.Releasing its first forecast for 2018, the met department said that rains would be 97 per cent of the Long Period Average (LPA), with a model error of plus or minus 5 per cent. Probability of normal to excess rains is 56% and that of below normal and deficit rain is 44%.
A normal monsoon will not only aid agriculture growth but could have a positive impact on the overall rural economy crucial for the ruling BJP government as it faces critical state elections followed by the big National Polls in 2019.

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.
However, the arrival of the monsoon and its distribution would play an important part so far as the economy was concerned, experts said. The IMD predicted 97 per cent chance of near-normal showers.
The IMD, which released its initial forecast for the four-month monsoon season, also said preliminary indications showed this year’s rains would evenly distributed.
Detailed forecasts on regional distribution will be made in early June, by when more information on El Niño and the IOD is available.
El Niño is a warming of sea surface temperature along the equatorial Pacific Ocean, while in the IOD sea surface temperature in the western Indian Ocean becomes alternately warmer and cooler than the eastern part.*
The monsoon is considered normal if rainfall during the June-September season is 96-104 per cent of the LPA, the average seasonal rainfall in the country in the last 50 years, estimated at 89 cm.ALSO READ: Monsoon 2018 forecast: Skymet predicts normal rainfall, relief for farmers
Rainfall below 90 per cent of the average is considered deficient, above normal at 105-110 per cent, and excessive above 110 per cent.
The IMD issues its first monsoon forecast in April and updates it in June.
The department, which used a combination of statistical and ocean-atmospheric models, said both showed rainfall this year would be normal.Highlights of IMD press :* Assessment of onset of monsoon will be done on May 15. Next update will be in June* Very less probability of deficit Monsoon this year, says IMD
* Error rate of IMD forecasts in past 11 years down to <6% versus >8% in previous 11 years
* Weak La Nino conditions will reach neutral before monsoon 2018.
What does a normal monsoon mean for India
a) Agriculture production grows lessening the burden on food inflation and lowering import of pulses and oilseeds.
b) Less drawdown of water levels in reservoirs, fewer instances of drinking water crisis.c) Improved power and electricity situation due to adequate water in hydel power projects, less use of pumps for irrigationd) Overall rural consumption gets a boost due to rising farm and non-farm wagese) Sales of auto, FMCG and consumer durable companies positively impactedf) Less pressure on the reserve bank of India to raise interest rates to fight inflationg) Low inflation further fuels demand in the housing and auto sectorsh) Drought or rainfall deficiency in less number of areas mean that burden on exchequer towards providing relief is that much lessPrivate weather forecasting agency Skymet has said rainfall in 2018 will be normal at 100 per cent of the LPA.
The forecaster also said that there is nil possibility of a big nationwide drought or deficient rainfall when the total cumulative seasonal rainfall across the country falls below 90 per cent of LPA.
It said that normal rains are likely for the country, particularly East India, while the Southern Peninsula and parts of Northeast India could be at some risk of getting below normal rains.monsoon 2018
The 2017 southwest monsoon ended with a overall shortfall of 5 per cent from the normal, which in meteorological terms is classified as below normal ; at 95 per cent of the Long Period Average (LPA) as against the India Meteorological Department (IMDs) forecast of rains to be normal at 98 per cent of the LPA with a model error of plus and minus 4 per cent.
The rains after making a steady start in June and July, went for an extended break in August and also till early September which pulled down the total cumulative seasonal rainfall.
The IMD’s reasoning for the unexpected break is that it was caused by intra-seasonal variability as Pacific cyclones over Bay of Bengal pulled the monsoon currents towards them, leading to the disappearance of rains over Central and Northern India, plunging them on the brink of drought.
IMD had predicted the rains to be normal in August (at 99% of LPA) and also in September, both with a model error of plus and minus 9 per cent.
While actual rains in August was more than 4 per cent less than normal, and in September it was almost 12 per cent less than normal.
Source: Business Standard