Beyond good rains: The making of a 'normal monsoon'

Their timeliness, distribution and spread are of vital importance for Indian agriculture

Sanjeeb Mukherjee New Delhi
Commuters make their way during heavy rain, near Oberoi Mall at Goregaon Mumbai on Wednesday.

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The India Meteorological Department (IMD) soothed nerves, especially about food supplies, when it forecast a "normal" monsoon for the June-September period at 96 per cent of the long period average (LPA).
IMD’s first monsoon forecast for the year followed private weather forecasting agency Skymet’s prediction of a below-par monsoon at 94 per cent of the LPA. Both forecasts have a model error of plus and minus five per cent.
In meteorological terms, there is a world of difference between "normal" and "below normal" forecasts. Both IMD and Skymet had almost similar views on the emergence of El Nino, a weather pattern that occurs in the Pacific Ocean, during the four-month monsoon season. What they differed on was the impact of El Nino and other factors in shaping the monsoon’s trajectory this year.

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First Published: Apr 18 2023 | 3:36 PM IST

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