Private forecaster Skymet downgrades monsoon forecast to below normal

Written by Sanjana Bhalerao
| Mumbai |

August 25, 2021 12:54:16 pm

Delhi monsoon, Delhi rains, DISCOM, Delhi news, city news, Indian ExpressPeople take shelter near a bus stop after heavy rain lashed parts of the Delhi. (Express Photo by Tashi Tobgyal)

Skymet, a private forecaster, has downgraded its monsoon forecast, stating that there is a 60 per cent chance of below-normal rainfall this monsoon or – 6 per cent of the Long Period Average (LPA). Skymet has forecast that the monsoon to be at 94 per cent of the long period average with an error margin of +/-4 per cent.

The Long Period Average is 880.6mm, for the period from June to September for the country. The country receives over 70 per cent rainfall from June to September and is vital for the Kharif and overall agriculture-based activities.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has not updated its seasonal forecast. According to the IMD, the country’s seasonal rainfall will be 101 per cent of the Long Period Average (LPA) which is 88 cm (1961 – 2010). In its first stage LRF released in early April, the All-India seasonal rainfall was predicted to be 98 per cent of the LPA.

On April 13, Skymet had released its monsoon forecast and had said that the rainfall to be “healthy normal” at 103 per cent, with an error margin of +/- 5 per cent, of LPA.

The South-West monsoon had entered into the break phase second time this season, in August. The south, west, and central India, had experienced an extended break-phase in rainfall during the season in June. It had largely experienced dry days for 15 days, starting June 20.

During most previous monsoons between 2010 and 2020, a similar break-phase during the onset period — typically emerging between June fourth week and continuing till early July — has been recorded. But, never had the break phase lasted beyond 11 days, as experienced during the 2010, 2011, 2014 and 2018 monsoon seasons. Such durations of the break phase are considered normal during the season.

Monsoon onset in 2016 and 2017 included two short hiatus periods and the break had lasted for three to eight days.

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