New Delhi, April 15 :The southwest Monsoon, which brings rainfall to India during the months of June to September, is likely to be "near-normal" this year with weakening El Nino weather pattern predicted.
The Indian Metrological Department (IMD) on Monday predicted that quantitatively, the monsoon seasonal (June to September) rainfall is likely to be 96 per cent of the Long Period Average (LPA).
The forecast has a model error of 5 per cent, according to the weather department.
"Weak El Nino conditions are likely to prevail during the monsoon season with reduced intensity in the later part of the season."
"Overall, the country is expected to have well-distributed rainfall scenario during the 2019 monsoon season, which will be beneficial to farmers in the country during the ensuing Kharif season," added the weather forecastor.
The monsoon is critical to India's agriculture as it accounts for more than 70 per cent of the country's annual rainfall.
The IMD defines average, or normal, rainfall as between 96 percent and 104 percent of a 50-year average of 89 centimetres for the entire four-month season beginning June.
Earlier on April 4, the private weather forecaster Skymet said that India will face a below normal rainfall this June-September monsoon season on account of moderate El Nino conditions, unless the Indian Ocean Dipole also known as Indian Nino, is able to negate the former. the El Nino was responsible for the droughts in the year 2014 and in 2015.
In its Monsoon forecast for 2019, the private agency said it expects the upcoming Monsoon to be below normal to the tune of 93 per cent of the long period average (LPA) of 887 mm for the four-month period from June to September. It said there is an error margin of 5 per cent in the forecast.