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Near-normal monsoon expected in India

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File photo of rice growing near Pune in Maharashtra, western India. (ePhotocorp/iStock/Getty Images)

MarketsFarm — Monsoon rains in India are expected to be near normal in 2019, according to the first long-range forecast of the year from the India Meteorological Department.

The southwest monsoon typically runs from June through September. It provides crucial moisture for the country’s agriculture sector, as it accounts for roughly 70 per cent of the yearly precipitation.

The IMD forecasts that rainfall during the monsoon will likely be 96 per cent of the long period average of 89 cm, with a model error of plus or minus five per cent. Anything from 90 to 95 per cent would be deemed “below normal.”

Weak El Nino conditions are forecast to prevail during the monsoon season, according to the report, with reduced intensity in the later part of the season.

“Overall, the country is expected to have well distributed rainfall scenario during the 2019 monsoon season, which will be beneficial to farmers in the country during the ensuing kharif season,” said the IMD.

A second forecast is expected to be released during the first week of June.

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