New Delhi : Putting to rest all concerns, India will see normal monsoon this year, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Tuesday, indicating timely arrival and even distribution of the seasonal rains that are crucial to the country’s economy.
The southwest monsoon is considered normal when the rainfall is 96-104% of the long period average (LPA).
It will be the second consecutive year with normal rain after India suffered back-to-back drought years for only the fourth time in over a century, hurting incomes and driving some farmers to suicide.
“There will be good distribution of rain throughout the country,” said KJ Ramesh, IMD’s director-general of meteorology in the long-range forecast for 2017. IMD issues another forecast in June. He said rainfall will be 96% of the long-period average with a margin of 5% error.
Monsoon rains, the lifeblood for India’s farm-dependent economy, arrive on the southern tip of Kerala by around June 1 and retreat from Rajasthan by September.
The monsoon delivers 70% of India’s annual rainfall and is critical for the country’s 263 million farmers and their rice, cane, corn, cotton and soybean crops because nearly half of its farmland lacks irrigation.