India to have 'normal' Monsoon this year, says IMD

Meteorology Department warns of thunder rain and strong wind

In a news that would bring cheer to the Indian economy, the IMD says the country would experience normal monsoon this year.

IMD's forecast of 97% rainfall comes with a model error of (plus-minus) 5%.

As per the local weather forecast, there is a possibility of rain, thunderstorm or dust-storm in various districts of the region. India receives 89 cm of rainfall during the four-month monsoon season, which is nearly 75 per cent of its annual rainfall.

The average rainfall over the past 50 years, or the long-period average (LPA), is 89cm.

Assessment of onset of monsoon will be done on May 15.

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Normal rains in last two years helped a rebound in farm growth rate to 6.8% in 2016-17 and an estimated 3% in 2017-18.

The IMD issues its first monsoon forecast in April and updates it in June. If the average rainfall is below 90 per cent of LPA, the Monsoon is termed "deficient".

As the extreme sea surface temperature conditions over the Pacific and Indian Oceans particularly ENSO conditions over the Pacific (El Nino or La Nina) are known to have strong influence on the Indian summer monsoon, IMD is carefully monitoring the sea surface conditions over the Pacific and Indian oceans. The country receives some 70 per cent of its annual rainfall during the four-month Monsoon season.

Private weather forecasting agency Skymet has said rainfall in 2018 will be normal at 100 per cent of the LPA. India had faced deficient rains during monsoon season in 2015 and 2014, making both these years drought years.

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