Southwest monsoon hits Kerala coast

Rainfall will also be well distributed across the country, with only the northeastern region forecast to get slightly lower rainfall, the India Meteorological Department said.

Monsoon to be 'normal': IMD expects rains at 102% of average
NEW DELHI: The southwest monsoon hit the Kerala coast on Monday, and is expected to deliver more rainfall than previously forecast, the weather office said.

Rainfall will also be well distributed across the country, with only the northeastern region forecast to get slightly lower rainfall, the India Meteorological Department said. It also said total rainfall in the June-September season would be 102% of normal, 2% more than what it had forecast in the middle of April.

The timely onset and forecast of well-distributed rainfall will cheer farmers and policymakers as it raises prospects of another record harvest and will further enhance agricultural growth amid gloom in other sectors of the economy, which have been beaten down by the pandemic. Good monsoon boosts rural income and the demand for consumer goods, automobiles and gold.


“Agriculture is the beacon of hope this year,” said D K Joshi, chief economist at Crisil. “A normal monsoon is the first bit of good news. But it is not dependant on total rainfall, but distribution, which remains to be seen, how it plays out. But water is also really important for us to battle the pandemic for hygienic purposes as well, so it's really good news that we will be having a strong monsoon season this year.”

Kripan Ghosh, head of agricultural meteorology at IMD, said forecast of normal rainfall was good news. "Ultimately, it depends on the advancement of monsoon, and distribution of rainfall. If it is well distributed throughout the agricultural regions, it will be a good season for farmers," he said.

In July, rainfall will be 103% of normal, while August will get 97% of the average rain, ministry of earth sciences secretary M Rajeevan said. The two months are the most crucial in the growth of the kharif, or summer-sown, crops.
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The monsoon made its timely onset in Kerala this year although the weather office had earlier said it would be delayed by a few days. Last year, the monsoon arrived a week late and was erratic. It began on a very weak note and ended with floods in many parts of India.

Kerala has been lashed by widespread rain since the weekend but the showers did not fulfil various parameters including the wind pattern and the extent and spread of showers.

Rainfall would be 107% of normal in northwestern India, 103% in the central region and 102% in the south. However, the north-eastern states will have a below-normal rainfall, expected to be 96%.

The latter part of the season might also see a La Nina, a phenomenon associated with above normal rainfall in India. The Australian Bureau of Meteorology has also had its ENSO outlook switched to inactive since the start of the year, while affirming the predictions for a weak La Nina in August or September.
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The chances of a deficient monsoon now stand at 5%, revised from the IMD's earlier prediction of 9% in April. The same model also predicts an 80% chance of a normal or above-normal rainfall season, up from 61%.

Category Rainfall Range
(% of average)
Forecast Probability (%)
For 2020 monsoon season
Deficient < 90 5
Below Normal 90 - 96 15
Normal 96 -104 41
Above Normal 104 -110 25
Excess > 110 14

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