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Normal, well-distributed monsoon rains this year: IMD

New Delhi: Sticking to its earlier forecast of 'normal' onsoon rainfall this season, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Tuesday further refined its prediction towards upper limit of the normal category with greater probability of spatially "well distributed" rains in most parts of the country, including the critical  'core monsoon zone' consisting of the rain fed agricultural  regions. 
The "well distributed" rainfall will boost the upcoming sowing operations across India and give much needed spurt to farm sector growth and consequently to the overall economy. If the forecast holds out, it will be the fourth consecutive year of normal/above normal monsoon rainfall. The last such four consecutive years of normal/above normal monsoon were recorded during 2010-13 and 2005-08. For farming operations, fairly well-distributed rainfall across regions during the entire monsoon period (June-September) is more important than quantitatively higher rainfall for a limited period. This time, however, both parameters augur will for the farm sector.
"Quantitatively, the monsoon seasonal rainfall is likely to be 103% of the Long Period Average(LPA) with a model error of -+ 4%. Our forecasts show that most parts of the country, specifically the 'monsoon core zone' will get good rainfall and this is a positive sign for our farm sector," said IMD Director General Mrutyunjay Mohapatra.
Banking on the IMD's forecasts, the agriculture ministry has set an all-time record target of foodgrain production at 328 million tonnes for the 2022-23 crop year (July-June cycle) which is over 4% higher than the estimated output of 314 million tonnes in 2021-22.
The monsoon forecast update (second stage forecast), released on Tuesday, quantitatively put the overall rainfall (103% of LPA) around upper limit of the 'normal' range (96-104 of LPA) unlike its first stage forecast when the Met department on April 14 predicted it to be 99% of LPA. This time, even the probability of good (normal, above normal and excess put together) rainfall during the monsoon season is much higher (81%) than the earlier forecast of 60%. 
Asked for the reason for the upgrade, Mohapatra pointed at positive factors that influence monsoon rainfall and said, "Prevailing La Nina conditions are likely to continue over the equatorial Pacific Ocean and there is possibility of development of negative IOD conditions over the Indian Ocean during the monsoon season."
Predicting regional  distribution of rainfall, the Met department said the monsoon rainfall over the four homogeneous regions is most likely to be 'above normal' for central India and the southern peninsula while it is most likely to be 'normal' over northeast India and northwest India. "Some parts of east-central, east & northeast India and extreme southwest peninsular India may, however, receive below normal rainfall during the four-month rainy season," said Mohapatra. As far as month-wise forecast is concerned, the IMD predicted 'normal' rainfall for June- the month when "below normal maximum temperatures" are likely over most parts of the country except northwest India where "above normal maximum temperatures" are likely.
The Met department will come out with its forecasts for July in late June and for August in late July.

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