Monsoon will be normal in 2017: IMD

Monsoon will be normal in 2017: IMD

Monsoon will be normal in 2017: IMD

Indian Meteorological Department on Tuesday predicted normal southwest monsoon in 2017 when rainfall for the entire country in the whole season (June-September) would be 96% of the long term average.

"We expect a normal monsoon, which will be good for our agriculture and good for economy", said K.J. Ramesh, director-general of the IMD, which has this year for the first time combined two forecasting techniques to issue its monsoon forecast. In 1997, the country experienced 102 per cent monsoon when both phenomenon were optimal.

"The country will receive 96 per cent of Long Period Average with an error model of plus or minus 5 per cent", Ramesh said, while releasing the monsoon forecast.

The monsoon delivers about 70 percent of India's annual rainfall, critical for growing crops such as rice, sugar cane, corn, cotton and soybeans because almost half of the country's farmland lacks irrigation.

With a weak El Nino and positive Indian Ocean Dipole, the conditions were favourable for a near normal rainfall, he said. IMD makes its forecast on the basis of two sets of mathematical models.

Forecasters globally are predicting a return to El Nino, with Australia's Bureau of Meteorology putting a 50 percent probability on it developing this year.

Its principal economist Aditi Nayar said if rainfall is around 96 per cent, our baseline expectation is that growth of agricultural GVA will moderate from above 4 per cent in fiscal 2017 to 3.6 per cent in fiscal 2018. The actual rainfall, however, was only 97 per cent of LPA.

Reactions poured in after the IMD's announcements. Officials said the June update will fine-tune the forecast as more information will be available on the evolution of El Nino conditions in the Pacific, which is known to adversely impact monsoon rains in India.

Certain parts of southern India are already facing a severe water shortage after receiving scanty rainfall in the winter months.

Meanwhile, Icra in a report said the timing of rainfall will be crucial as higher rainfall in the early part of the monsoon may support sowing while adequate rainfalls in the second half is important for yields.

Last year, despite forecasts of La Nina leading to heavy bursts of rains, India only received average monsoon rainfall, not surplus as previously expected.

According to the Union Water Resources Ministry, reservoir storage is now at around 31 per cent of full capacity.

Related news