Relief for farmers as Indian Meteorological Department predicts normal monsoon in 2018

In a forecast report published on Monday, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) predicts a normal monsoon for the year 2018, a good news for farmers in the country who have been going through tough times.

Sparkling the good hope of recovering the agriculture sector, the southwest monsoon is expected to be ‘normal’ in 2018, says the report. The monsoon was a little below normal last year, though the weather department had projected a normal rainfall.

The IMD forecast predicts a projected rainfall of 97% of the long period average (LPA) in June-September, with a model error of plus and minus 5 per cent. The monsoon is considered normal at 96 to 104% of the LPA, which is the average rain across the country from 1951 to 2000, estimated to be 89 cm.

The positive forecast also soothing for the state and central governments as the elections are lined up in 2018 and 2019, including the general elections.

“El Niño, generally associated with low rainfall, is expected to be weak during the start of the monsoon season in June. The Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD), another critical factor influencing the monsoon, is also projected to be weak but will occur only at the later stages. Also, most global monsoon models are predicting ‘normal’ rainfall for India this year,” said IMD Director-General K J Ramesh.

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