Normal monsoon in India despite El Nino: IMD
IMD prediction comes just a day after Skymet predicted ‘below-normal’ rainfall
Why rains important
- 52% cultivated area relies on rains
- Rainfed agri accounts for 40% food output
- Normal rainfall during southwest monsoon
New Delhi: In a relief for the agriculture sector, India is expected to get normal rainfall during the southwest monsoon season despite the evolving El Nino conditions, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Tuesday.
The IMD prediction comes just a day after a private forecasting agency, Skymet Weather, predicted "below-normal" monsoon rains in the country. India has already seen four consecutive years of 'normal' and 'above-normal' rains during the monsoon season. Normal rain is critical for India's agricultural landscape, with 52 percent of the net cultivated area relying on it. It is also crucial for the replenishing of reservoirs critical for drinking water apart from power generation across the country. Rainfed agriculture accounts for about 40 percent of the country's total food production, making it a crucial contributor to India's food security and economic stability.
El Nino, which is the warming of the waters in the Pacific Ocean near South America, is generally associated with the weakening of monsoon winds and dry weather in India. The El Nino conditions this year follow three consecutive La Nina years. La Nina, which is the opposite of El Nino, typically brings good rainfall during the monsoon season.
"India to see normal rainfall during the southwest monsoon season (from June to September). It is likely to be 96 per cent (with an error margin of 5 per cent) of the long-period average of roughly 87 cm," M Ravichandran, Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences, said at a press conference.