Farmers now breathe easy as IMD predicts normal monsoon this year
There's good news farmers in general and government in particular, the national weather forecaster — India Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted a normal monsoon this year with 96 per cent of the long-period average.
India Meteorological Department (IMD) Director General K J Ramesh said there would be good distribution of rainfall across the country. "The country will receive 96 per cent of Long Period Average," he said.
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".
In reply to a question as to why IMD refrained from releasing figures of the forecast, Ramesh said, "Since we have changed the weather forecasting model, the predictions of rainfall would be released in later months and details of monsoon onset would be announced in the second week of May."
"There is nothing to worry as every part of the country would get 'proportionally' equal rainfall distribution. There are some areas that remain in rain deficit every year, even if the monsoon is above normal, which is a natural occurrence," Ramesh said.
However, the farmers have expressed satisfaction over the forecast of 96 per cent, which has come amid a continuing drought in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka even though the forecast was above normal last year.
"We have no option but to trust IMD predictions. Given that last year's predictions of the IMD were proved right, farmers are hopeful this year's forecast will also hold true, which will prove helpful in increasing production," said Ganesh Nanote, a farmer from Vidarbha region in Maharashtra.
Rejecting private weather forecaster's prediction of slightly lesser rainfall for 2017 due to high chances of El Nino, an IMD official said, "There is no one- to- one relationship between El Nino and Indian monsoon as during 34 per cent El Nino years, monsoon rainfall was normal or above normal."