IMD said El Nino conditions are prevailing over the equator, but expects the same to weaken throughout the monsoon season, which lasts between June and September
The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) expects southwest monsoon to near-normal and at 96 percent of its long period average, with an error of plus or minus five percent. It sees the rainfall 'well distributed', which will be beneficial to farmers in the ensuing Kharif season.
Monsoon in India is considered to be normal when the LPA is between 96 percent and 104 percent. LPA is the average rainfall between 1951 and 2000, which is 89 cm. Anything between 90 percent and 95 percent of LPA falls under the 'below normal' category.
In terms of probability, the Met Department sees a 39 percent chance of a near-normal monsoon, 32 percent scope of a below-normal monsoon, 10 percent chance of an above normal monsoon and 17 percent scope of deficient rainfall.
IMD said El Nino conditions are prevailing over the equator, but expects the same to weaken throughout the monsoon season, which lasts between June and September. This will lead to the possibility of a normal monsoon. These rains are a crucial source of water supply for agriculture. Nearly 75 percent of India's annual rainfall occurs during these four months.
El Nino is a weather phenomenon which causes a rise in temperature in the equatorial Pacific Ocean, leading to disruption in wind patterns and thus impacting rainfall in India.
Earlier this month, Skymet Weather Services, a private Indian weather forecaster, recently revised its February prediction of a normal monsoon and said there was a 55 percent probability of about 30 percent deficit in rainfall.
Though the IMD's second stage monsoon forecast is expected in the last week of May, it sees 'very less chance for rainfall to be above normal or in excess'.
Monsoons have a strong correlation of 76 percent with the country's food production and agriculture forms around 15 percent of India's GDP.Equity markets also seem to react in line with monsoon predictions in the immediate short term. Deficit monsoon expectations have led to a muted or negative performance and normal to above average monsoon brings an uptick in the next day's trade. But, this movement is seen to be temporary and does not suggest any trend.