IMD to issue forecast for 2018 southwest monsoon rains today

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Rainfall is likely to be normal during the June-to-September south-west monsoon season, the government's weather office said on Monday.

Monsoon rains, the lifeblood of the country's $2 trillion economy, are expected to be 97 percent of a long-term average, K.J. Ramesh, director general of the state-run India Meteorological Department (IMD), told a news conference.

Ramesh also announced category-wise forecast in terms of probabilities for normal (96-104 per cent), above normal (104-110 per cent), excess (more than 110 per cent), below normal (90-96 per cent) and deficient (less than 90 per cent) rainfall.

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Rainfall below 90 per cent of the average is considered deficient, above normal at 105-110 per cent, and excessive above 110 per cent. The forecast is for the period of June to September.

The IMD issues its first monsoon forecast in April and updates it in June. Forecast on distribution of rainfall and prediction on monthly rains for July, August and September will be made by the IMD in early June. The first stage forecast will be issued today and the second stage forecast will be issued in June.

According to IMD, there is 42 per cent possibility of normal rainfall and 12 per cent possibility of above normal rainfall - it means there are good chances of normal rainfall in the country. Monsoon is considered to be normal when rainfall is between 96% and 104% of the 50-year average.

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Private weather forecasting agency Skymet has said rainfall in 2018 will be normal at 100 per cent of the LPA.

Despite "normal" forecast, the monsoon can be affected by the El Niño conditions.

The four-month monsoon season provides about 70 per cent of the country's annual rainfall.

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Monsoon rains, the lifeline of the country's Dollars 2 trillion economy, are expected to be 97 per cent of a long-term average. El Niño is an abnormal condition over Equatorial Pacific Ocean, with warming over central and east Pacific Ocean.

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