IMD predicts a ‘near normal’ monsoon

The India Meteorological Department in its forecast has predicted that India is likely to have a ‘near normal’ monsoon this year. With global weather phenomenon El Nino bearing down monsoon rainfall, this year it will on the cusp of normal and below normal in the country. The IMD usually does not use the category ‘near normal’. Under this category, the IMD has slotted rainfall between 96-104% of the long-period average, which is 890 mm. However, the ‘normal’ category, junked this year is also used for the same 96-104% category.

Quantitatively, monsoon rainfall this year will be 96% of the long period average, which is 890 mm, based on 1951-2000 data. The forecast was issued with a model error margin of +/- 5%, IMD said. Even as they junked the ‘normal’ monsoon category in its forecast, IMD scientists and top officials vehemently denied that there was a shift in terminology.

As opposed to IMD, private weather forecaster Skymet has predicted a below par monsoon at 93% quantitative rainfall over the long period average. Skymet based its forecast of a below normal monsoon on projections that indicated 80% chance of El Nino conditions between March and May.

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