Business News/ Industry / Monsoon above normal so far, may weaken in July: IMD

New Delhi: Monsoon rainfall across the country has been above normal so far and is expected to remain so through June, according to an official of the India Meteorological Department (IMD).

Despite the weather office’s forecast of a deficient monsoon, rainfall, as of Wednesday was 11% more than average. IMD expects rainfall to weaken in July, the peak month for the monsoon.

“A low-pressure system has formed in the Bay of Bengal which will bring more rainfall in some areas. Good rainfall can be expected at least for the next five days and the monsoon is likely to reach north India by the end of June," said D.S. Pai, head of the long-range forecasting division at IMD.

The June-to-September monsoon season is crucial for India, which receives 70% of its annual rainfall in the period; almost half the country’s farmland is rain-fed.

IMD has forecast a second consecutive year of deficient rainfall—a source of concern for policymakers, farmers and companies dependent on the rural economy.

Apart from north-west India, where rainfall was 7% less than average, other regions of the country have received above average rainfall so far.

East and north-east India received rainfall that’s more than 16% the average, and central India received 19% more.

According to a forecast by the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, the monsoon is expected to reach north India between 26 June and 30 June and likely to be plentiful.

The monsoon is expected to reach some more parts of Chhattisgarh, Odisha and West Bengal, and the remaining parts of coastal Andhra Pradesh in the next three days.

It has been active over the Gangetic West Bengal and Telangana starting this week.

IMD warns that monsoon rainfall will be weaker in July, when it is expected to be 92% of the long-period average, and in August, when it will be 90%.

A worrying factor is the strengthening El Niño weather phenomenon that is sometimes associated with below-normal rainfall in India.

Skymet Weather Services Pvt. Ltd, a private forecaster that has a contrarian forecast—it believes this year’s monsoon will be normal—said on Wednesday that the monsoon, which has been static for the past three days, is expected to advance further in the next 48 hours.

“July is also likely to see normal rainfall," said Jatin Singh, chief executive officer at the private forecaster.

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Updated: 18 Jun 2015, 02:33 AM IST
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