IMD sees decent monsoon, counters Skynet's downbeat forecast

Apr 23, 2017, 02:00
IMD sees decent monsoon, counters Skynet's downbeat forecast

While announcing the IMD's first stage forecast of the 2017 southwest monsoon season for June-September, Ramesh also stated that there is a 38% probability of improvement of monsoon rainfall beyond 96% of the LPA.

The report said the current year's forecast is majorly important for the farm sector with initial reports pointing fingers at the El Nino which may happen during the later part of the year. Addressing a press conferencing on Tuesday, Met Department Director General KJ Ramesh said, "There will be good distribution of rain throughout the country". The LPA, the average rainfall in the monsoon season over a 50-year period between 1951 and 2001, is 89 cm spread evenly throughout the country.

Out of 16 years, only in 2008, the IMD's first long-period average forecast was closest to its actual value, with the difference between the two values being very less.

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"In case the IMD forecast turns out to be correct, which it should, India would witness a robust agriculture growth continuously for two years, reaping a record 272 million tonnes of foodgrains (second advance estimates) during 2016-17". Its second forecast is expected to incorporate all these assessments. The atmospheric conditions over the Pacific also reflect neutral El Nino conditions. Interestingly, Skymet, a private weather forecasting agency, has predicted a "below normal rainfall" this year, with western India likely to experience a shortfall. The CFS model was further modified to provide improved rainfall forecasts over the Indian monsoon region through research efforts taken up under the Monsoon Mission. The monsoon is considered to be below normal if rains are between 90-96 percent. It said that in a baseline scenario of 96% LPA rainfall, it expects the agriculture sector to grow 2.9%, contributing 0.4 percentage point to overall economic growth. Maize, soybean, pulses, and sugarcane are among other key crops sown across the country during the summer monsoon season.

The Pacific sea surface temperatures determine the so-called El Nino phenomenon - a slight increase in the sea surface temperatures - that has been linked to poor monsoon behaviour in India.

"There is an uncertainty, as probability of moderate El Nino in August has reduced". Besides that, the monsoon rainfalls also help to bring the temperatures down across the country. "Hence, IMD is carefully monitoring sea surface conditions over the Pacific and Indian Oceans". The seasonal rainfall over central India and northeast India were within forecast limits. By that time, more information on the evolution of El Nino and IOD will be available.

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