Monsoon, the backbone of Indian agriculture, is expected to remain normal and on time this year. It will also be well-distributed across the country. Skymet revealed that the monsoon might be 103% of the long period average (LPA) of 89 cm for the four-month period from June to September. Normal monsoon prediction could give Indian economy the kind of boost it requires when chips are down.
In terms of geographical risk, Skymet suggests that central India will have the least fluctuation with normal rainfall through the JJAS (June, July, August and September) period. There seems to be weakness in east Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and northern Madhya Pradesh in June & July; and in Peninsular India in August.
Skymet’s calculations do suggest that there might be a slight dip in precipitation in August. According to Jatin Singh, CEO, Skymet, “The slight weakness in the latter part of Monsoon could possibly be attributed to an evolving negative Indian Ocean dipole.” The Indian Ocean dipole is a phenomenon wherein the East Indian Ocean (waters near Indonesia) warms or cools, in turn affecting the Monsoon.
A negative episode is defined as warming and a positive as cooling. Warming is known to weaken the Monsoon, and a positive episode is correlated with strengthening.
Main features of Indian Monsoon 2013
According to Skymet’s calculations (assuming an error margin of +/-4%), the following is Monsoon’s risk spread over the four-month period of JJAS:
• 15% chance of excess (seasonal rainfall that is more than 110% of LPA)
• 29% chance of above normal (seasonal rainfall that is between 105 to 110% OF LPA)
• 44% chance of normal (seasonal rainfall that is between 96 to 104% of LPA)
• 9% chance of below normal (seasonal rainfall that is between 90 to 95% of LPA)
• 3% chance of drought (seasonal rainfall that is less than 90% of LPA)
On a monthly scale, the precipitation foreshadow is as following:
June- 105% of LPA (17 cm)
• 78% chance of normal
• 15% chance of excess
• 7% chance of deficit
July – 105% of LPA (28 cm)
• 62% chance of normal
• 25% chance of excess
• 13% chance of deficit
August- 97% of LPA (26 cm)
• 71% chance of normal
• 7% chance of excess
• 22% chance of deficit
September- 103% of LPA (18 cm)
• 50% chance of normal
• 28% chance of excess
• 22% chance of deficit
Normal monsoon prediction has come at the moment when India economy has been under stress and prospects of a good monsoon are hugely welcomed. Skymet suggests if the Monsoon plays out as foreshadowed, there will be timely sowing of paddy and soyabean, cotton and tur. The sugarcane crop will be normal. The Monsoon is closely watched in India because of its impact on important economic sectors such as agriculture and energy.