Pune: India will give its first official forecast for the June to September monsoon on 19 April, Ajit Tyagi, director general of the India Meteorological Department (IMD), said on Wednesday.
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Tyagi said his department will give monthly forecasts at the end of the preceding month.
Tyagi was speaking on the sidelines of the South Asian Outlook Forum, which should issue its agenda-setting consensus forecast for this year’s monsoon on Friday.
Monsoon rains are crucial for India, one of the world’s largest producers and consumers of staples such as wheat and rice. The country depends heavily on its agriculture sector to feed its 1.2 billion population.
Tyagi said summer temperatures in India should be “close to normal” this year, although there would be regional differences.
The south and east of the country could see temperatures below normal, he said, while the north and west might have temperatures one or two degrees above normal.
Temperature “has no one-to-one relationship with the monsoon,” Tyagi said.