Monsoon likely to be normal in 2018: Skymet


NEW DELHI, APRIL 4: Monsoon 2018 is likely to be ‘normal’ with “zero chance” of a drought according to private forecaster, Skymet. “2018 is likely to remain normal at 100% (with an error margin of +/-5%) of the long period average (LPA) of 887 mm for the 4-month period from June to September,” the organisation said in a statement on Monday.
‘Normal’ rainfall refers to India getting, within a 4% error margin, 887 mm of rainfall during the monsoon season. However this doesn’t mean farmers can rest easy. While June was likely to receive excess rainfall, there is still, on average, a 30% chance that the key monsoon months of July and August would see ‘below normal’ – or a greater than 10% deficit in their normal quotas – rains. July and August bring in half the monsoon rains and are crucial for a good harvest.
The April forecasts by agencies don’t capture the geographical spread of the monsoon rain.
The India Meteorological Department, the official forecaster, is expected to announce its forecast later this month though – in line with international weather models – it has indicated that the chances of an El Nino are slim.
In March bulletin, the agency ruled out the possibility of El Nino, at least till August. The El Nino – an abnormal warming of the ocean surface in central and eastern equatorial Pacific – is usually associated with weak monsoons.
Last year, India got 95% of its normal monsoon quota. June and July got more than its usual quota while August and September saw significant deficits. (Courtesy: The Hindu)