The nourishing downpours of the annual monsoon is the primary source of fresh water in India. The July to September monsoon delivers nearly 70 per cent of the annual rains.
India's annual monsoon rains are expected to be above average in 2016, a senior official at the weather office is reported to have said on Tuesday.
“This year, monsoon will be above normal,” India Meteorological Department (IMD) director general Laxman Singh Rathore said. Rains in 2016 would be 106% of the long-term average, he added.
The nourishing downpours of the annual monsoon is the primary source of fresh water in India. The July to September monsoon delivers nearly 70 per cent of the annual rains and waters half of India’s farmlands that lack irrigation facilities.
The IMD announcement came at a time when India is facing fourth drought in more than a decade and farmers are on a brink of disaster due to water shortage.
A day ago, India's only private weather forecaster, Skymet, made a similar prediction.
Monsoon rains are expected to be 105% above a long-term average, with a 35% probability of above average rainfall, Skymet has said in a statement.
The monsoon rains could be above average as the El Nino weather pattern is gradually fading and giving way to La Nina, IMD's Rathore said.
El Nino, or warming of sea-surface temperatures in the Pacific, can lead to scorching weather conditions across Asia and east Africa, but heavy rains and floods in South America.
India’s west coast and central parts will get good rains, Skymet said, bringing in relief for farmers and policy makers, who are struggling with droughts and severe water scarcity in some regions.
Above average monsoon rains play a key role in boosting demand for an array of consumer goods, as 70% of India’s 1.3 billion people live in villages.
Agriculture accounts for about 14% of India’s $2 trillion economy, Asia’s third-biggest, but it supports two-thirds of Indian’s population.
State-run India Meteorological Department is expected to issue its forecast for this year’s monsoon rains soon.
Separately, farm secretary Shobhana K Pattanayak said current climatic conditions indicate that El Nino is gradually fading and giving way to La Nina, indicating bountiful rains this year.
With agency inputs