New Delhi: Predicting maximum probability of normal or good monsoon in 2018, the IMD on Monday said India is set to get a normal monsoon this season with average rainfall likely to be 97 per cent.
The prediction stands at a moderate error estimated of plus-minus 5 per cent of the Long Period Average (LPA), the India Meteorological Department (IMD) announced.
"India will receive normal monsoon this year. The forecast suggests that the monsoon rainfall during the 2018 season averaged over the country as a whole is likely to be 97 per cent," IMD Director General K.J. Ramesh said at press conference here.
A figure between 96 to 104 percent is considered normal monsoon.
Earlier, on April 4, private weather forecasting agency Skymet also predicted normal monsoon keeping it at 100 percent, with an error estimate of plus-minus 5 per cent.
According to Skymet, central India will receive above normal monsoon and northwest regions will recieve normal monsoon, while northeast and southern regions are likely to recieve slight less rainfall as compared to other regions.
However, a clearer picture of the season, which normally extends from June 1 to September 30, would only be available in June, IMD said.
IMD's forecast is based on two model systems, with another -- Monsoon Mission Coupled Forecasting System (MMCFS) forecasting rainfall for monsoon 2018 to be 99 percent with an error estimate of plus-minus 5 percent of the Long Period Average (LPA).
"Quantitatively, the monsoon seasonal rainfall is likely to be 97 percent of the LPA with a model error of plus-minus 5 percent," said IMD forecast based on another model -- Forecast Based on the Operational Statistical Ensemble Forecasting System (SEFS).
The average seasonal rainfall in India between 1951 to 2000 has been recorded at 89 cm.
"Forecast also suggests maximum probability for normal monsoon rainfall and low probability for deficient rainfall during the season," IMD said in a statement.
Hoping that the monsoon will be constant and not sporadic, it said that the region based forecast will be available only during the second assessment in June and the date of the monsoon's onset into Kerala will be announced in mid May.
In 2017, while IMD predicted 96 percent average rainfall in its first forecast in April, the monsoon season over the country as a whole was 97 per cent of its LPA.
In 2017, the average seasonal rainfall over northwest India was 95 per cent, in central India 106 per cent, in southern peninsula 92 per cent and in northeast India 89 per cent.
IMD in October 2017 said that while 72 per cent of the total area of the country received normal rainfall, 13 per cent area got excess rainfall and 15 per cent deficient seasonal rainfall.
According to it, below 90 per cent rainfall is considered deficient and at 95 per cent, it is considered below normal. While between 96 and 104 per cent of rainfall indicates a normal monsoon, between 105 and 110 per cent is above normal.