IMD raises monsoon forecast the day the rains hit Kerala coast

On a day when the southwest reached Kerala coast exactly on time, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) upgraded its forecast for 2020 rainfall to 102 per cent of the Long Period Average (LPA), from the 100 per cent in April. The forecast is with a model error of plus and minus of 4 per cent.

Region-wise, the forecasts showed that barring North-East and East India, rainfall in all the other regions of the country will be towards the higher side of ‘normal’ with North-West India which comprises of states such as Punjab, Haryana, UP and Delhi projected to get ‘above normal’ rainfall this year at 107 per cent of the LPA.

The said rainfall in Central India, most of which is rainfed, is expected to get rainfall equivalent to 103 per cent of its LPA, while Southern India is expected to get rainfall equal to 102 per cent of LPA. East and North-East India are expected to get 97 per cent of LPA equivalent rainfall.

However, this should not cause many problems, as the total quantum of rainfall in the Eastern Part of India is higher than in other regions. The forecast is with a model error of plus and minus 8 per cent.

The classified rainfall equivalent between 96-104 per cent of the LPA of the entire country as normal while that between 104-110 per cent of classified as above normal rainfall. Rainfall between 90-95 per cent is categorized as ‘below normal’.

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Though the cumulative LPA for the four-month rainfall for all India is 88 centimeters but there can be regional variations in this.

In July, the met department said that rains would be 103 per cent of the LPA, while in August it will be 97 per cent of the LPA. July and August the two most important months for the southwest as these get the maximum quantum of rains in the four-month period. The forecast is with a model error of plus or minus nine per cent.

There is just a 15 per cent chance of rainfall being below normal this year and just 5 per cent of it being deficient, the met department said.

The timely onset of rains and upgrading of the forecast raised hopes that of the strong performance of the June to September rains in India something, which should have a positive impact on farm output and overall economic scenario.

Meanwhile, earlier in the day, the southwest has arrived over Kerala, marking the commencement of the four-month-long rainfall season, the India Meteorological Department said on Monday.

“The southwest monsoon has set in over Kerala today, 1 June 2020,” the said in a statement today.

The four-month monsoon season from June to September accounts for 75 per cent of rainfall in the country.

Private forecaster Skymet Weather on May 30 had declared the arrival of monsoon, but the IMD had differed, saying conditions were not ripe then for such an announcement.

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