IMD predicts normal monsoon rainfall in 2018

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Monsoon rains, the lifeline of the country's Dollars 2 trillion economy, are expected to be 97 per cent of a long-term average, KJ Ramesh, director general of the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), said.

The prediction stands at a moderate error estimated of plus-minus 5 per cent of the Long Period Average (LPA).

If the forecast holds true, 2018 will be third successive year of normal rains.

'Monsoon will be 97 per cent of long period average, which is normal for the season, ' the Indian Meteorological Department said on Monday. In 2016, good monsoon has led to record production of oilseeds, food grains and also triggered a 4.2 per cent agriculture growth.

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Assessment of onset of monsoon will be done on May 15.

IMD will update its forecast in early June with numbers on month and region-wise distribution of the monsoon. The country receives some 70 per cent of its annual rainfall during the four-month Monsoon season.

The forecaster also said that there is nil possibility of a big nationwide drought or deficient rainfall when the total cumulative seasonal rainfall across the country falls below 90 per cent of LPA. The IMD considers the Monsoon to be normal if the average rainfall is between 96 to 104 per cent of long period average. Anything between 90-96 per cent of the LPA is considered "below normal".

In 2017, the average seasonal rainfall over northwest India was 95 per cent, in central India 106 per cent, in southern peninsula 92 per cent and in northeast India 89 per cent.

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