'Below normal rains in August-September': IMD downgrades initial monsoon forecasts

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Monsoon rains will be below normal in August and September, the India Meteorological Department said on Friday, downgrading the initial forecasts about a normal monsoon for the second half of the rainfall season

Monsoon rains will be below normal in August and September, the India Meteorological Department said on Friday, downgrading the initial forecasts about a normal monsoon for the second half of the rainfall season.

In the second Long Range Forecast for rainfall during the second half of the Southwest Monsoon season, the IMD said the scenario realised till the end of July suggests that distribution of rainfall was very good across the country except Bihar, Jharkhand and north-eastern states.

The favourable distribution of rainfall was expected to continue for the next two months, it said, raising hopes for agricultural operations during the kharif season.

"The rainfall during August-2018 is likely to be 96 plus/minus 9 pc of LPA and expected to be higher than predicted in June. Quantitatively, the rainfall for the country as a whole during the second half of the season is likely to be 95% of LPA (Long Period Average ) with a model error of plus or minus 8%," the IMD said.

Monsoon rains is considered normal in the range of 96-104% of the LPA. The 90-96% of the LPA range is considered "below normal".

Skymet, a private weather forecasting agency, has already downgraded its forecast for this year's monsoon, stating that the country might receive below normal rainfall, citing the continuing warming of the sea surface in the Pacific Ocean.

The warming of the seas surface indicates towards an evolving El Nino, a natural process that inversely affects the intensity of monsoon winds in the subcontinent.

In its initial forecast in April, Skymet said the country would receive 100% of the LPA, which falls under "normal" category.

In its fresh forecast, Skymet added that August may end with 88 of LPA and September could perform a shade better and end with an LPA of 93%.

June recorded a rainfall of 155.3 mm in comparison to the normal rainfall limit of 163.3 mm, 95% of the LPA while July received 272.4 mm rainfall while the normal rainfall limit was 289.2 mm, which was 94% of the LPA.

On May 30, the IMD had predicted 101% of the LPA for July.

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