According to IMD, India might receive higher monsoon rainfall than previously forecast as concern over the El Nino weather condition has eased.
This news from India Meteorological Department (IMD) has raised prospects of higher farm and economic growth.
IMD on April 18 forecast had predicted this year’s monsoon rains at 96 per cent of the 50-year average of 89 cm.
“Things have changed for the good since then,” said K J Ramesh, director general of IMD.
The monsoon delivers about 70 per cent of India’s annual rainfall, critical for crops such as rice, cane, corn, cotton and soybeans because nearly half of the country’s farmland lacks irrigation.
“We assessed 96 per cent based on the climatological conditions up to March. Now, conditions are becoming favorable for an improvement over our April 18 estimate,” Ramesh said.
Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology recently said there were signs of concerns easing over El Nino.
El Nino, a warming of ocean surface temperatures in the eastern and central Pacific that typically occurs every few years and was linked to crop damage, fires and flash floods, faded in 2016.
The establishment phase of the monsoon north of the equator has already started, and the Indian Ocean Dipole phenomenon – which counters the impact of an El Nino – will have an incremental positive effect on the Indian monsoon, Ramesh said.
Pre-monsoon showers have already hit certain dry areas in the southern part of the country, he said, bringing much needed relief to farmers ahead of the start of the four-month monsoon season beginning June.
India defines average, or normal, rainfall as between 96 per cent and 104 per cent of the 50-year average.