Hyderabad, Apr 16: The monsoon this year will be near-normal and the rain will be well-distributed which will help agriculture, the India Meteorological Department predicted on Monday. The rainfall is likely to be 96 per cent of the long period average (LPA) with a model error of plus or minus five per cent, the IMD said.
The IMD had got its forecast right in 2017, but last year the country received 91 per cent of the long period average (LPA) against the IMD's prediction of a normal rainfall. The IMD will forecast the date of the onset of the monsoon on May 15, and the second stage forecast during the first week of June.
'Normal' refers to rainfall between 96 per cent and 104 per cent of 89 centimetres for the June-to-September season. The long period average refers to the average rainfall between 1951 and 2000, which currently stands at 89 cm.
At normal times, Telangana receives 75.5 cm rainfall, Andhra 58 cm and Rayalaseema 39.8 cm during the southwest monsoon. On April 3, Skymet, a private weather forecasting agency, had predicted a below normal monsoon and sluggish start this year due to the El Nino factor.
El Nino refers to the warming of the surface waters of the Pacific Ocean, which is through to affect the monsoon over India. However, IMD director-general K.J. Ramesh appeared to discount the fears of an El Niño.