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IMD forecasts normal monsoon in 2017

LiveMint logoLiveMint 18-04-2017 Prerna Kapoor

New Delhi: India will receive normal rains during the June-to-September southwest monsoon season, the government’s weather office said on Tuesday.

Rainfall will be 96% of the long-period average and there is a 38% probability that monsoon will be near normal, said K.J. Ramesh director general of India Meteorological Department (IMD). He added that the normal rains will be good for the economy and agriculture and rains will be distributed fairly across the country.

The southwest monsoon is considered normal when the rainfall is 96-104% of the long period average (LPA) and is considered to be above normal when it is between 105-110% of the LPA. Around 49% of India’s workforce depends on agriculture for a livelihood and 68% of the country’s population resides in rural areas.

The onset of monsoon kick-starts the sowing season for summer crops in the country. India receives 70% of its annual rainfall during this period which irrigates over half of its rain-fed lands.

In 2016, the monsoon was normal at 97% of the long-period average after two straight years of deficit rains. The normal monsoon last year aided a rebound in agriculture growth to 4.2% (2016-17), after a dismal 1.2% increase and a 0.2% contraction seen in 2015-16 and 2014-15, respectively.

IMD provides the long range forecast for the southwest monsoon rainfall in two stages. In April, seasonal rainfall for the country as a whole is issued. In early June, these numbers are updated.

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