IMD forecasts 97% normal monsoon for 2018

Meteorology Department warns of thunder rain and strong wind

IMD's SEFS model for the April forecast uses the following 5 predictors that require data upto March. This is the third consecutive year when the IMD predicted normal monsoon rains for the country.

In 2017, while IMD predicted 96 percent average rainfall in its first forecast in April, the monsoon season over the country as a whole was 97 per cent of its Long Period Average (LPA).

A normal south-west monsoon bodes well for the Indian economy and is likely to boost rural demand and alleviate farm distress. The IMD categorises rainfall in the 96 per cent to 104 per cent LPA range as normal while the rain immediately below that, it is considered below normal.

Despite "normal" forecast, the monsoon can be affected by the El Niño conditions.

The date of onset of monsoon will be announced in the middle of May.

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IMD will update its forecast in early June with numbers on month and region-wise distribution of the monsoon.

A good monsoon is good news for the Indian economy.

Private weather forecasting agency Skymet has said rainfall in 2018 will be normal at 100 per cent of the LPA. The country receives some 70 per cent of its annual rainfall during the four-month Monsoon season.

The IMD's reasoning for the unexpected break is that it was caused by intra-seasonal variability as Pacific cyclones over Bay of Bengal pulled the monsoon currents towards them, leading to the disappearance of rains over Central and Northern India, plunging them on the brink of drought.

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