Newspatrolling: India Meteorological Department (IMD) has announced its final Monsoon forecast, stating that the monsoon rains will be approximately 98% of the long-term average. This is nearly 2 percentage points higher than its earlier forecast, something that is good news for farmers and the country’s economic growth. It may be recalled that monsoon rains contribute nearly 70% of the total rainfall in the country. The monsoon rains are essential since almost half of the farmlands in the country lack irrigation facilities. The monsoon rains are needed for various crops such as rice, cane, corn, cotton and soybeans, among others.
In the forecast report, IMD has mentioned that rainfall in July will be 96 percent of its long-term average. In August, the rainfall will be 99 percent of its long-term average. These forecasts have an error component of plus/minus 9 percent, which is the current standard followed by IMD. Monsoon forecasts have also been made by other agencies, for example, a Reuters report published in May had said that India would be receiving a higher than average rainfall since the El Nino weather system has weakened in recent times. IMD has currently assumed El Nino to be neutral while making its monsoon prediction.