Indian monsoon sets in, risk for deficiency remains but so far, so good

The long range forecast was revised a few weeks ago and there is a risk that this year’s monsoon may be somewhat deficient. But the onset has not been much delayed and the first week’s rainfall is slightly above “normal. The second LRF cast a shadow over the markets when it was announced. But the pessimism may have been overdone.

2nd stage Long Range Forecast:

  • Rainfall over the country as a whole for the 2015 southwest monsoon season (June to September) is likely to be deficient (<90% of LPA).
  • Quantitatively, monsoon season rainfall for the country as a whole is likely to be 88% of the long period average with a model error of ±4%.
  • Region wise, the season rainfall is likely to be 85% of LPA over North-West India, 90% of LPA over Central India, 92% of LPA over South Peninsula and 90% of LPA over North-East India all with a model error of ± 8 %.
  • The monthly rainfall over the country as whole is likely to be 92% of its LPA during July and 90% of LPA during August both with a model error of ± 9 %.

The monsoon onset was just a couple of days “late” compared to the forecast date (which is in itself always a warning sign). Furthermore, this year could be an El Nino (albeit weak El Nino) year which could depress rainfall levels. One week into the 13 week monsoon season, however, rainfall is running at 4% above the long term average.

monsoon advance June 6th 2015

monsoon advance June 6th 2015

The northern and western ends of the front are progressing well but the central section is well behind its “normal” advance. In terms of rainfall distribution the north-east and the south which usually receive the highest rainfall by this time are running slightly ahead of normal. The central and north-west region receive low levels of rainfall in  this period but the north-west is running 44% above normal while the central regions are deficient and running at -20%.

rainfall till 6th June 2015

The warnings about potential deficiency has led to the government planning measures for those farmers who are not “covered” by irrigation networks and are solely dependent upon rainfall.

But, so far, so good.

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