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Below normal monsoon this year: IMD

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, Apr 24: It will be a below normal monsoon in the country this year, the Indian Materological Department today said in its long-range weather forecast for the South West monsoon season rainfall between June and September.

The situation, however, was not alarming as the probability for the monsoon rains to be deficient all over the country was only 22 per cent, the Met office said.

According to the forecast, rainfall in the country as a whole is likely to be 93 per cent of the Long Period Average (LPA) with a model error of plus or minus five per cent, which means it would be below normal as per the categorisation of the IMD.

According to the categorisation of the Meteorological department, any rainfall in the range of 90 to 98 per cent of the LPA is considered to be below normal while rainfall less than 90 per cent of the LPA comes under the deficient category. Though estimates by the IMD suggest only 22 per cent chance of the monsoon rains in the country to be deficient or less than 90 per cent of the LPA, the probability level of the country recieving deficient rainfall is the highest in the last three years.

Also, the fact that this year the chance of rainfall being less than 90 per cent of the LPA is far higher than last year's probability level of four per cent indicates that the country could well be in for another year of deficient rainfall after 2002.

In that year, the rainfall registered was just 81 per cent of the LPA.

However, IMD Director General B Lal, addressing reporters here said there was no cause for worry as the long range forecasts by the Meteorological department had provided to be accurate in the past.

In this context, he said that last year the IMD had, in its long range forecast for the monsoon, predicted the rainfall during the monsoon season (June-September) would be 98 per cent of the LPA.

As it turned out, the rainfall in the country as a whole was 99 per cent of the LPA.

''Only three meteorological subdivisions received deficient rainfall,''he said.

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