Skymet, a private weather forecasting agency, said on Tuesday the southwest monsoon in 2021 that will start from June is expected to be ‘normal’ at 103 per cent of the Long Period Average (LPA).
The LPA for June to September rainfall is estimated to 880.6 mm, meaning that if the forecast come true, the actual rainfall in the country is expected to be around 907 millimeters.
If actual rainfall across the country is on par with Skymet’s initial forecast released today, it will mean that for the third consecutive year, India will have a normal to above normal rainfall during the monsoon months.
In 2020, actual rainfall across India was 109 per cent of LPA, while in 2019, it was 110 per cent of the LPA.
Rainfall between 96-104 per cent of the LPA is considered at normal rainfall.
It also said that there is 85 per cent probability of rainfall across the country to be normal to above-normal rainfall in 2021 and just 15 per cent chance of rainfall being below normal and no chance of widespread drought in the country this year.
“In the June to September months, normal rainfall is expected to be in East and Central India, while North and North-West India might have some chances of below normal rainfall,” Skymet said.
It said that ‘neutral’ El Nino conditions will prevail during the June to September months, while Indian Ocean Dipole will also remain neutral. The heartening fact is that there is no chance of El Nino impacting Indian monsoon in any way this year,” the agency said.
Month-wise monsoon in June across the country will be 106 per cent of LPA, which will be 177 millimeters of rainfall, while the monsoon in July will be 97 per cent of LPA, which will be 277 millimeters of rainfall. Monsoon in August is expected to be 99 per cent of LPA which will be 256 millimeters of rainfall across the country and monsoon in September is expected to the best at 116 per cent of LPA.
This means, that as per Skymet, monsoon in September is expected to be 197 millimeters.
“The heavy surge in rainfall in September will mean that monsoon withdrawal might be once again delayed this year,” G.P Sharma, President, Meteorology of Skymet told reporters.
The 2020 southwest monsoon season ended with 9 per cent above average rainfall, which made it the second consecutive year of rainfall being more than normal, a feat that happened for the first time in almost 60 years.
In 2019 also the southwest monsoon was above average across the country and the cumulative showers across the country was 10 per cent more than normal.
The last time India had two consecutive years of more than average rainfall nationally was in 1958 and 1959, almost 60 years ago.
In 2020, the southwest monsoon was more than normal in almost all parts of the country except in North-West India which comprises of major grain producing states such as UP, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, the National Capital of Delhi, Uttarakhand and Jammu and Kashmir.
Out of the 685 districts in the country, the monsoon was normal in almost 75 per cent of them, while it was deficient and below normal in the remaining in 2020.
Buoyed by the good rains, the kharif foodgrains harvest in 2020-21 was estimated to be over 144 million tonnes which was an all-time high harvest.