Millennium Post (Kolkata)

‘Monsoon to be normal this year’

Rainfall in Odisha, Jharkhand, eastern Uttar Pradesh, Assam and Meghalaya is likely to be below normal

- OUR CORRESPOND­ENT

NEW DELHI: The Southwest monsoon, which brings nearly 75 per cent of rainfall to the country, is expected to be normal this year, the India Meteorolog­ical Department (IMD) said on Friday.

The Long Period Average (LPA) will be 98 per cent with an error margin of plus and minus 5 per cent, said M Rajeevan, secretary of the Ministry of Earth Sciences.

Rainfall in Odisha, Jharkhand, eastern Uttar Pradesh, Assam and Meghalaya is likely to be below normal, but normal or above normal in the rest of the country, he said while releasing the first Long Range Forecast for the fourmonth rainfall period from June to September.

“The monsoon will be 98 per cent of the LPA, which is normal rainfall. It is a really good news for the country and will help India have a good agricultur­e output,” Rajeevan said at a virtual press conference.

The LPA, the average of the season's rainfall across the country from 1961-2010, is 88 centimetre­s.

According to the prediction of the Operationa­l Statistica­l Ensemble Forecastin­g System (SEFS), there is a 40 per cent probabilit­y of a normal and 16 per cent probabilit­y of an above normal rainfall this season. There is a 25 per cent probabilit­y of a below normal rainfall, the IMD said.

The news augurs well for the economy, battered due to the coronaviru­s pandemic. The Southwest monsoon is one of the primary drivers of the country's economy, which is largely based on agricultur­e and its allied activities. Large parts of the country rely on the four-month rainfall season for agricultur­e and also for filling reservoirs.

This is the first time the

IMD has made a specific forecast on spatial distributi­on.

Rajeevan said the IMD will issue month-wise forecasts during the next four months and also for the homogenous regions of the country --- the IMD's four divisions --- the Northwest India, East and Northeast India, Central India and South Peninsula.

The country has recorded above normal rainfall for the last two rainfall seasons.

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