Monsoon to be above normal and its onset timely: Skymet revised forecast

Though June rainfall might be weak as El Nino conditions are still waning, monsoon will pick up in July and will continue in the month of October


India is struggling with water scarcity in parts of the country after below-average rainfall in two consecutive years. Photo: PTI
India is struggling with water scarcity in parts of the country after below-average rainfall in two consecutive years. Photo: PTI

New Delhi: In a revised prediction, private weather forecaster Skymet said on Tuesday that the June-Septemer monsoon will arrive on time in Kerala, and raised its rainfall forecast.

Skymet said the second half of the monsoon will be more bountiful than the first and will spill over to October.

In its April forecast, Skymet said monsoon rainfall will be 105% of the long-period average (LPA). On Tuesday, it said rainfall will be 109% of LPA.

The revision spells good news for India, which is struggling with water scarcity in parts of the country after below-average rainfall in two consecutive years. Eleven states have declared drought after a 14% rainfall deficit last year, blamed partly on the El Nino weather phenomenon that’s associated with rising temperatures in the Pacific Ocean.

“El Nino conditions are still waning, so June rainfall might be weak, but monsoon will pick up in July and will continue in the month of October just like in 2010,”said Mahesh Palawat, chief meteorologist, Skymet.

Monsoon rainfall will be 13% below normal in June, 8% more than normal in July, 13% more than normal in August and 23% more than normal in September, Skymet forecast.

Although India Meteorological Department has forecast above normal monsoon rainfall this year, it said the monsoon is expected to arrive in Kerala on 7 June, six days later than normal.

But Palawat said that rainfall is likely to intensify in Kerala by 30 May and will continue, which will mean the onset of the monsoon.

“Under the influence of the cyclone Roanu, Monsoon arrived before time over the Andaman and has also advanced further. Conditions are now favourable for its timely onset over Kerala,” said Jatin Singh, CEO, Skymet.

The private forecaster added that in 2016, the area under cultivation of soybean, groundnut, pulses and rice may increase and that the area under cotton may reduce marginally while total agricultural land under sugarcane may remain the same as previous year.

READ MORE