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Monsoon likely to be normal this year: Skymet

 New Delhi, April 4: Monsoon in India is likely to be normal with no chances of drought this year, private forecaster Skymet said on Wednesday, bringing relief to the country. The forecaster said there were 5 per cent chances of excess rainfall that is more than 110 percent of long-period average (LPA).

The average, or normal, rainfall in the country is defined between 96 and 104 per cent of a 50-year average for the entire four-month monsoon season. If it is normal, the country will record 887 mm for the four-month period from June to September. “The onset month of June and the withdrawal month of September give a promising picture in terms of good countrywide rainfall distribution,” Skymet said in its report. The official forecaster, India Meteorological Department, is expected to come up with its monsoon predictions later this month. In its forecast bulletin, Skymet drew up three more scerios likely for the season — ranging from below normal to excess rainfall with an error margin of plus-minus 5 per cent.
Normal rainfall in the country is critical for rice, cane, corn, cotton and soybean cultivation. However, the agency said key monsoon months of July (97 per cent) and August (96 per cent) would see “below normal” rains. The two months, which bring in half the monsoon rains, are critical for a good crop harvest. But June is likely to receive excess rainfall. September is also going to have normal rainfall with 101 per cent of LPA. In terms of geographical risk, Skymet expected that Peninsular India along with major portion of northeast India was likely to be at “higher risk of being rain deficient throughout the season”. (IANS)

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Ankur Kalita