Free Press Journal

Monsoon to be below normal with 95 per cent rainfall


New Delhi: In news that is not pleasant for the farming community, India is expected to see below normal monsoon this year with Met department forecasting 95 per cent rainfall after a good spell of four years.

India Metereological Department (IMD) officials said the monsoon is expected to be below normal because of the El-Nino effect, which is generally associated with the warming of ocean water.

“The monsoon seasonal rainfall is likely to be 95 per cent of the Long Period average with an error of plus or minus 5 percent,” it said in a statement here.

The rainfall between 90-96 percent is catergorised as below normal and rainfall between 96-104 per cent is termed as normal rainfall.

Large parts of the country which includes western, southern and northern India will receive below normal rainfall while the eastern parts (eastern UP, Bihar, Odisha, parts of Andhra Pradesh and almost the whole of Northeast India) will receive normal rainfall, according to South Asian Climate Outlook Forum (SACOF).

It is a regional weather body comprising World Meterological Organisation and six South Asian countries.

The forecast of below normal monsoon is not a pleasant news for the farming community which heavily depends on the rainfall, particularly for kharif crops such as rice, soyabean, cotton and maize. The country’s 60 per cent farm land is rain fed.

The country has witnessed normal monsoon and bumper harvest for the last four years.

Last year, the Met department had forecast 98 per cent rainfall but it exceeded and the country received over 106 per cent rainfall.

While the IMD has blamed the possible occurence of El-Nino effect for the below normal rainfall, the SACOF has said that all the regions except the eastern states will receive less rainfall.

“Latest forecast from a majority of the models also indicate warming trend in the sea surface temperature over the equatorial Pacific reaching to El-Nino level during the South-west monsoon with a probablity of around 60 per cent,” the IMD said.

With the Model Code of Conduct in place, the Met department did not hold the customary press conference, but instead posted the monsoon-related information on its website.

“It is recognised that there is uncertainty in the intensity of the El Niño event. There is also consensus about the potential for adverse impacts of El Niño on the monsoon rainfall over the region.

“However, other regional and global factors also can affect the monsoon rainfall patterns over the region,” SACOF said in its report.

Large parts of South Asia will also receive below normal rainfall. These include parts of Pakistan, Nepal, and almost the entire Bhutan and Sri Lanka.