IMD forecasts 97% normal monsoon for 2018

Sergio Conner
April 16, 2018

Probability of normal to excess rains is 56% and that of below normal and deficit rain is 44%.

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

This forecast comes with a model error of plus or minus 5%.

Normal rains in last two years helped a rebound in farm growth rate to 6.8% in 2016-17 and an estimated 3% in 2017-18.

However, a clearer picture of the season, which normally extends from June 1 to September 30, would only be available in June, IMD said.

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The Met department uses a statistical model for its forecast.

The latest forecasts from the MMCFS and global models indicate weak negative IOD conditions may develop during the middle of the monsoon season. The forecast also suggests maximum probability for normal monsoon rainfall (96-104% of LPA) and low probability for deficient rainfall during the season. Anything between 90-96 per cent of the LPA is considered "below normal".

According to Skymet Weather, Monsoon 2018 is likely to be normal at 100% (with an error margin of +/-5%) of the long period average (LPA) of 887 mm for the four-month period from June to September.

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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