A normal monsoon

India is likely to get ‘normal’ monsoon rains, according to the first official forecast of the season by the India Meteorological Department (IMD).

Key Facts on Monsoon Forecast

  • Rains are likely to be 96% of the 50-year average of 89cm for the monsoon season of June to September.
  • The Indian weather office has clarified that even if El Niño emerges in September, if other parameters remain as they are now, the country may get a normal monsoon.
  • They are expected to fan out favourably and help agriculture.
  • Every number forecast by the IMD has a built-in 5% error margin.

Concern over forecast

  1. There’s the looming threat of El Nino.
  2. According to Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology, prospects of El Niño forming this year have increased to 50%.
  3. The IMD has adopted a new weather model this year, and it is still a work-in-progress.
  4. India saw drought years in 2014 and 2015.
  5. As for 2016, it received 3% less than the 89 cm average, despite an IMD forecast of above normal rains.

Effect of poor monsoon over India

  • Anything less than 90% of the average rainfall in a region is regarded as deficient rainfall.
  • Effect on Farmers: The most obvious victims of deficient rainfall are the farmers. Without proper rainfall they are left with absolutely no hope. Proper rainfall can help food production reach unprecedented levels, deficient rainfall can lead to paucity in the total agricultural production.
  • Effect on Growth: Growth in agricultural sector would reduce. This will also percentage points from the overall GDP growth of India. This will also have a detrimental effect on demand in the non-agricultural sector.
  • Effect on Power Sector: Water levels will be lower than normal in several hydroelectric dams, there will be lesser electricity
  • Effect on Goods:  The demand goes down this happens predominantly in the rural areas and input costs increase to a significant extent. As a result, their financial condition including share prices is highly affected.
  • Effect on Export/Import: Agricultural exports will be lesser and imports will be higher due reduced production. Fiscal deficit will increase. A number of drought-relief measures will be taken and ferrying food stocks from one place to another will become costlier.

Source : The Hindu

GS I : Indian Geography

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