Monsoon to be 'near normal': IMD

The country is likely to have 'near normal' monsoon with a well distributed rainfall which could be beneficial for the agriculture sector, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) announced on Monday.

The seasonal rainfall is likely to be 96 per cent of the Long Period Average (LPA) with a model error of plus or minus five per cent, Secretary Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) M. Rajeevan said.

The LPA of the season rainfall over the country as a whole for the period 1951-2000 is 89 centimetres.

Significantly, the IMD has introduced a category of 'near normal' for rainfall between 96-104 per cent of the LPA. In its forecast last year, the rainfall between 96-104 of the LPA was classified as 'normal' category.

Rainfall of 90 to 96 per cent of the LPA is below normal. Ninety-six per cent rainfall borders on below normal and normal category.

Weak El Nino conditions are likely to prevail during the monsoon season with reduced intensity, Rajeevan said.

There could some effect of the El Nino in June, but monsoon may pick up pace from July, he added.

"Southwest monsoon seasonal (June to September) rainfall over the country as a whole is likely to be near normal," the IMD said in Long Range Forecast for 2019 southwest monsoon rainfall.