At 97 percent, normal monsoon this year, says IMD

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Puneites are likely to get some respite from the heat with the India Meteorological Department (IMD) predicting thunderstorm with rain at isolated locations in the city in the coming 24 hours. India had 95 per cent of the LPA rainfall previous year - as against the first forecast of 96 per cent of the LPA (with an error margin of +/- 5 per cent). This is the third consecutive year when the IMD predicted normal monsoon rains for the country.

Rainfall is likely to be normal during the June-to-September south-west monsoon season, the government's weather office said on Monday.

The IMD defines average, or normal, rainfall as between 96 per cent and 104 per cent of a 50-year average of 89 centimetres for the entire four-month season beginning June.

Assessment of onset of monsoon will be done on May 15.

The negative fallout of a good monsoon followed by a good harvest is that unless it is supported by strong offtake measures it could lead to a glut in many crops plummeting farm incomes.

The forecast based on the MMCFS suggests that the monsoon rainfall during the 2018 monsoon season (June to September) averaged over the country as a whole is likely to be 99% ± 5% of the Long Period Average (LPA).

Details, such as how the monsoon will pan out over the country and the quantum of rainfall in July and August - the key monsoon months - would be made available in the department's June update, said IMD chief K.J. Ramesh at a press conference in New Delhi.

A figure between 96 to 104 percent is considered normal monsson. India had faced deficient rains during monsoon season in 2015 and 2014, making both these years drought years.