India to see ‘normal’ monsoon this year, forecasts IMD (Lead)

New Delhi, April 16 (IANS) India is expected to see “normal” rainfall during the monsoon season between June to September this year, as per the India Meteorological Department (IMD) forecast.Addressing a virtual press briefing, Earth Sciences Secretary Madhavan Rajeevan said that the Long Period Average (LPA) of monsoon will be 98 per cent which falls in the normal category.”This is good news for all as the monsoon is expected to be normal this year,” Rajeevan said. Rainfall between 96-104 per cent of the LPA is considered normal.”IMD has released the first stage long range forecast for 2021 South West Monsoon Rainfall today. Seasonal rainfall (June to September) over the country as a whole is likely to be normal at 96 to 104 per cent of Long Period Average which is 88 cm for the period 1961-2010,” he said.Rajeevan also said that a new ‘Multi-Model Ensemble’ forecasting system based on coupled global climate models has been used this year.”It will cater to demands of different stakeholders for detailed forecasts like spatial distribution of rainfall etc. for better planning of regional activities,” he said.According to Rajeevan, the second stage of the forecast providing the updated monsoon prediction for the season will be released in May.”Monthly forecasts will be provided at end of May, June, July and August for subsequent months,” he said.Rajeevan highlighted the new strategy with dynamical modelling framework and separate forecasting for rain-fed regions as part of the ministry’s commitment to improve monsoon forecasts.The monsoon season starts when the southwest monsoon first hits the southern tip of Kerala, usually in the first week of June, and retreats from Rajasthan by September.The Ministry said that probability of this year’s monsoon being normal is 40 per cent while there is a 21 per cent probability of the monsoon being above normal.This is for the third consecutive year that the IMD has predicted good rainfall.–IANSssb/vd

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