New Delhi: The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted normal to below-normal rainfall during August and September, amid concerns over the southwest monsoon entering another weak phase.

IMD said that favourable distribution of rainfall is expected to continue, elaborating that rainfall for the country as a whole during the two months is likely to be 95% of the long-period average (LPA), with a model error of 8%. A range of 94% to 104 % of LPA of 89 cm is considered normal.

“It is expected that the monsoon will be normal to below normal in August and September, but there is a higher probability that it would be below normal," said Dr D.S. Pai, head, climate prediction group, IMD, Pune.

According to the forecast, there is a 47% probability of the monsoon being below normal (less than 94% of LPA), 41% probability of it being normal (94 to 106 % of LPA) and 12% probability of it being above normal (more than 106 % of LPA) for the second-half of the monsoon season.

“The monsoon is undergoing a weak phase and this is likely to continue. We expect a change in the conditions from the second week of August, when it could gain momentum. That’s what the forecast models indicate," Pai said.

The weather department also updated its month-wise forecast, saying that rainfall during August is expected to be higher than what was predicted earlier at 96% of LPA, with an error of ±9%.

“Mid-season rainfall scenario realised over the country till the end of July suggests that the distribution of rainfall is very good over all parts of the country, except Bihar, Jharkhand and the northeastern states. Such a scenario of favourable distribution of rainfall is expected to continue during the rest of the monsoon season of 2018 so as to remain favourable for agricultural operations," said IMD.

July ended with a rainfall deficit of 6% and the current deficit stands at 8%, with normal rain in 27 sub-divisions and deficient rain in nine. Bihar, Jharkhand and parts of the northeast continue to receive deficit rains.

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