India Meteorological Department Forecasts Above-Normal Monsoon Rainfall for 2024
India Meteorological Department Forecasts Above-Normal Monsoon Rainfall for 2024

New Delhi:  According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), India is expected to experience above-normal rainfall during this year's monsoon season. The rainfall is estimated to be around 106 percent of the long-term average, which is approximately 87 centimeters.

IMD chief Mrutyunjay Mohapatra stated during a press conference that historical data from 1951 to 2023 revealed that India witnessed above-normal monsoon rainfall on nine occasions when La Nina followed the El Nino event. He emphasized that this year's monsoon season, spanning from June to September, is likely to see above-normal rainfall.

In 2023, India experienced below-average rainfall, with a cumulative total of 820 millimeters compared to the long-term average of 868.6 millimeters. This was attributed to El Nino conditions, which bring warmer surface waters to the central Pacific Ocean and are associated with weaker monsoon winds and drier conditions in India.

Currently, moderate El Nino conditions are present in the equatorial Pacific region. However, forecasts suggest that these conditions are expected to weaken to neutral El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) conditions at the start of the monsoon season.

Furthermore, the IMD predicts that La Nina conditions are likely to develop during the latter half of the monsoon season. The weather office plans to issue updated rainfall forecasts for the monsoon season by the last week of May.

The southwest monsoon is crucial for India's agriculture sector, as it delivers approximately 70 percent of the country's annual rainfall. Agriculture accounts for around 14 percent of India's GDP, highlighting the significance of favorable monsoon conditions for the agricultural economy.

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