Skymet raises mon­soon hopes to 109%

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - HT Cor­re­spon­dent let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com

NEW DELHI: Bring­ing good news to In­dia’s drought-hit farm­ers, pri­vate fore­cast­ing agency Skymet has raised the coun­try’s mon­soon forecast to 109% of the long pe­riod av­er­age (LPA) from the ear­lier fig­ure of 105%.

The agency re­vised the forecast, which comes with a model er­ror of plus-mi­nus four days, on the back of a wan­ing El Nino in the Pa­cific Ocean.

“In­dia’s June mon­soon rain­fall is seen at 87% on an av­er­age, while for July, it is seen at 108%,” Skymet said on Tues­day, adding that the ex­pected fig­ures for Au­gust and Septem­ber stand at 113% and 123% re­spec­tively.

Re­ject­ing re­ports of a likely de­lay in the on­set of the mon­soon, the agency said the wan­ing El Nino may en­sure that it reaches Ker­ala on time.

A few weeks ago, the govern­ment-run Met depart­ment had said that the rains would ar­rive only around June 7. The nor­mal on­set date of the south-west mon­soon is June 1, which marks the start of its four-month jour­ney across the sub-con­ti­nent. “There are am­ple rea­sons for me to be hope­ful for this year’s mon­soon, fol­lowed by an in­crease in agri­cul­tural pro­duc­tion. The El Niño kept us all on ten­ter­hooks for the last two years. It is fi­nally ta­per­ing off, and has almost reached the thresh­old neu­tral value,” said Skymet CEO Jatin Singh in a post on the agency web­site.

Skymet also pre­dicted that the to­tal area un­der the cul­ti­va­tion of kharif food grains would in­crease by 15-20% in 2016, as com­pared to the pre­vi­ous year. CON­TIN­UED ON P12 RE­LATED RE­PORT, P2

SATISH BATE/HT

Parts of Mum­bai wit­nessed showers on Wednesday evening, lead­ing to traf­fic snarls on sev­eral roads.

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