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IMD forecasts ‘near normal’ monsoon this year; weather cheer for farmers

FE Online

IMD monsoon forecast 2019: In its first weather forecast this season, IMD has brought cheer to farmers and India’s agrarian economy, with a ‘near normal’ monsoon prediction for the current year 2019. The monsoon rains are seen at 96 per cent of long period average (LPA), Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) said.

India is going to have a near normal monsoon in 2019 as the south-west monsoon is likely to be near-normal, news agency PTI reported citing M Rajeevan Nair, secretary Ministry of Earth Sciences.

The current year is going to be good for farmers, IMD also said.

The onset date for monsoon will be announced IMD on May 15. The stage forecast will be issued in the first week of June, it added in its first long-range forecast for the south-west monsoon.

IMD defines average or normal rainfall as between 96 percent and 104 percent of a 50-year average of 89 cm for the complete four-month season starting in June.

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Weak conditions have developed over equatorial Pacific Ocean and they may remain the same this summer, according to the latest global forecasts. The weather department however doesn t expect severe impact of El Nino this monsoon season.

IMD expects the monsoon rains to be well distributed in the four-month season this year. The south-west monsoon makes its onset over India around end of May and is critical for the agriculture sector.

Over half of the population in Asia s third-largest economy works in agriculturual sector and the monsoon rains directly have an efect on their incomes and livelihood.

Agriculture adds up to more than 15 per cent of GDP, implying crop failure when monsoon fails, impacting the economy.

The farmers plant crops including rice, cane, corn, cotton and soybean during the season as nearly half of the country s arable lands lack irrigation facilities.