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Normal monsoon likely: IMD update

The rainfall in August is likely to be 99 per cent of the LPA with an error margin of plus or minus 9 per cent.

, ET Bureau|
Updated: Aug 01, 2019, 11.59 PM IST
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NEW DELHI: The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has updated its monsoon forecast and said rainfall over the rest of the season would be normal.

For the full June-September season, it expects total rainfall to be about 96% normal, which is in accordance with its prediction before the monsoon arrived. A strong surge in July rainfall, which was 4.6% above normal, has helped this year’s monsoon deficit to contract to 9% at the end of the month from a worrying 35% shortfall on June 30.

Rainfall was particularly heavy towards the end of the month, being 42% above normal in the past seven days. The month also began on a strong note with 28% surplus rains in the week from July 3, data showed. This is good news for the economy because almost half of India’s farmland depends entirely on rainfall for water.

The progress of monsoon has a strong bearing on rural demand for consumer goods, gold, vehicles and agricultural equipment, and this has a bearing on the overall business sentiment in the economy.

Rainfall in the past one week has transformed the monsoon situation. More than 65% of India received either normal or above normal rain in the past week, up from 35% a week earlier. This augurs well for agriculture and eases worries of a drought. This year’s monsoon arrived a week late and was very sluggish in June, putting various authorities on alert for a possible drought.

The IMD had forecast this year’s southwest monsoon to be slightly lower than normal. It stood by the prediction even after June rainfall turned out to be among the weakest in decades. For July, the weather office had forecast that rainfall to be 95% of average, but it was 104.6%. This should ease all concerns of farmers as July and August are the two most crucial months of the four-month season that delivers three-quarters of India’s annual rainfall. The pace of progress of the monsoon in the initial weeks had slowed down crop planting, but this is rapidly catching up.

It had also reduced the level of water in the country’s major reservoirs, which store water for drinking, irrigation and power generation for the entire year. Officials said India’s agriculture production is resilient, and has not fallen even in drought years in the past. This year’s agriculture output is likely to rise, officials in the agriculture ministry said.


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