Monsoon And Itís Expectations

Posted by sandeep on June 19th, 2019

Former finance minister Pranab Mukherjee once termed monsoon as the real finance minister of India. He was right. After all, 60 per cent of India's arable land depends on rain, agriculture contributes 15 per cent to India's gross domestic product, and last but not the least, sustains 55 per cent of India's population.

So, it's not surprising that everybody, right from companies selling products in rural India to governments fighting inflation, prays for optimum rain. At 96%, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted a “near-normal" monsoon in 2019. In contrast, private weather forecaster Skymet, citing an El Niño possibility, has a damp prognosis: “Below-normal" rains at 93% of the long-period average (LPA).

El Niño conditions occur as temperatures rise in the equatorial region of the Pacific Ocean, which impacts global weather. In India, it generally leads to lower rainfall. The IMD has predicted a near-normal monsoon seven times in the past 10 years, but those calls were correct only on three occasions. Of the balance four, two were below-normal, one deficient, and one saw a deluge.

May to July is critical for kharif production the season accounts for 40 per cent of the country's total farm output. Excess or deficient rain can affect sowing. A delay can make prices of farm commodities shoot up. The main kharif crops are rice, pulses, soybean, maize, millet and sugarcane. Sowing usually begins in the second week of June.
Going by the weather agency's forecast, the late onset and slow progress of the monsoon might, to some extent, delay the sowing of Kharif crops in non-irrigated belts. However, as the monsoon picks up momentum, sowing may commence and the impact could be contained.

June set to be drier

The delayed start of the monsoon means extended summer heat across India. Temperatures have crossed 40°C in most parts of the country, while some regions in central and western India have breached 45°C in May. Moreover, any delay in monsoon rains can also lead to below-normal rainfall in June. The Weather Company forecasts a very high (80%) probability of below-normal rainfall in June across India, in Kerala, coastal Karnataka, Konkan, Goa, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Odisha.

As per current estimates, the cumulative rainfall from June to September may end up at around 93 to 96% of normal levels. However, the monthly variation of rain can still affect the crop output. “While the seasonal forecast interests bankers and policymakers, it's the sub-seasonal forecast (month-wise forecast) that holds the maximum value for farmers,” says Deoras.

The second stage of the long-range forecast from IMD with the overall rainfall is expected in the first week of June. The next round monsoon forecast from The Weather Company is also expected by June 4.

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sandeep

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sandeep
Joined: May 14th, 2019
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