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India to get 'normal' monsoon in 2024; Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, WB may face deficit: Skymet

Skymet, a private weather-forecasting agency, predicts a normal southwest monsoon for India in 2024, with rainfall expected to be 102 percent of the long-period average (LPA). The forecast offers hope in the battle against inflation and agricultural growth.

India to get 'normal' monsoon in 2024; Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, WB may face deficit: Skymet
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First Published Apr 10, 2024, 9:07 AM IST

Skymet, a private weather forecasting agency, has forecasted a normal southwest monsoon for India in 2024, providing a ray of hope in the fight against inflation. The agency predicts that the monsoon rainfall between June and September will be 102 per cent of the long-period average (LPA) of approximately 87 centimetres, with a model error of +/- 5 per cent. This falls within the range considered "normal" nationwide, which is between 96 and 104 per cent of the LPA.

According to Skymet's forecast, regions in south, west, and northwest India are expected to receive sufficient rainfall, including the core monsoon rainfed zones of Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. However, eastern states such as Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, and West Bengal may experience a rainfall deficit during the peak monsoon months of July and August. Northeast India is also likely to see less than normal rainfall during the first half of the season.

The state-run India Meteorological Department (IMD) is expected to release its initial forecast for the 2024 southwest monsoon soon. A normal monsoon is crucial for curbing inflation and reviving growth in the agricultural sector, which suffered lows in the previous year due to a weak monsoon.

Jatin Singh, managing director of Skymet, highlighted the transition from El Niño to La Niña, which typically results in stronger monsoon circulation. This shift, coupled with a positive Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD), is expected to improve monsoon prospects for the season as a whole.

Skymet's predictions for the distribution of rainfall across the months indicate a 50 per cent chance of normal rainfall in June, a 60 per cent chance in July, a 50 per cent chance in August, and a 60 per cent chance in September. These forecasts provide insights into the expected rainfall patterns during the crucial monsoon months, which are vital for India's agricultural sector and overall economy.

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