The monsoon this year could be ‘normal’ and bring 100 per cent rainfall instead of 96 per cent as predicted earlier, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) said today. The prospects of the monsoon have brightened because of the reduction in the likelihood of El-Nino, IMD Director General K J Ramesh said.
Ramesh said the recent development on El-Nino indicates that the monsoon could be normal this year and it could reach 100 per cent of the long period average (LPA). El Nino is a phenomenon associated with warming of Pacific waters. In its initial forecast, the IMD had said that the monsoon could be 96 per cent of the LPA which is “near normal”.
“Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology too downgraded the occurence of El-Nino this year. We hope that prospects of monsoon could improve slightly,” Ramesh said. However, he denied the possibility that monsoon would be above normal this year.
Anything between 96 and 104 per cent of the LPA is considered as “normal”. Anything under 96 per cent is considered as “below normal” and 104-110 per cent of the LPA as “above normal”.
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Last year, the IMD had made an initial forecast of “above normal” rainfall, but it belied its prediction and the season ended with normal precipitation.
At that time, the southern peninsula had registered deficient rainfall and several parts of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala reeled under drought-like situation.
Ministry of Earth Sciences Secretary Madhavan Nair Rajeevan said the climatological models indicate that the situation predicted in April could improve slightly. “There are modest chances of occurence of El Nino. However, we need to see the data of May after which will come up with the second forecast in the first week of June,” he said.