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    India likely to have a normal monsoon this year, predicts IMD

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    India is likely to have a normal monsoon this year, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Wednesday, in news that will cheer up farmers suffering amid the Covid-19 lockdown.

    “We will have a normal monsoon this year. Quantitatively the monsoon rainfall during the monsoon season 2020 is expected to be 100% of its long period average with an error of +5 or -5% due to model error,” Madhavan Rajeevan, the secretary with the ministry of earth sciences (MoES), said during a press briefing.

    In its first stage Long Range Forecast (LRF) for south-west monsoon season (June-September) rainfall, the weather bureau also gave the dates of onset in several places.

    The date for the onset of monsoon in Kerala remains the same and will arrive on June 1, the official said. The date for Chennai will be June 4, Panjim June 7, Hyderabad June 8, Pune 10 and Mumbai 11.

    The monsoon will reach the national capital on June 27.

    LRF is the operational monsoon season forecast issued by the weather department from June to September for the entire country. It does not include regional level rainfall or specify quantum rainfall for the forecast period

    The MeT department issues LRF in two stages—first stage forecast in April and the second one is issued in June.

    These forecasts are issued using Statistical Ensemble Forecasting System (SEFS) and dynamical coupled ocean-atmospheric models.

    India receives about 70% of its annual rainfall during the monsoon that generally begins in June before starting to retreat by September.

    The monsoon rainfall is crucial to rice, wheat, sugarcane and oilseeds cultivation in the country, where farming accounts for about 15% of the economy and employs over half of its people.

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