This year's monsoon could end in the range of normal to above normal, the India Meteorological Department said on Monday with the government saying that this is expected to benefit agriculture and the overall economy.
Of the four-month rainfall season, June and August have recorded 17 and 24 per cent more rainfall that normal respectively while July saw 10 per cent deficient precipitation.
"Rainfall is likely to end in the normal or above normal category," IMD director general Mrutunjay Mohapatra said at a press briefing.
He said the overall rainfall is likely to be 102 per cent of the Long Period Average (LPA) with an error margin of plus or minus 4 per cent. The LPA rainfall over the country for the 1961-2010 period is 88 centimetres.
Monsoon in the range of 96-104 per cent of the LPA is considered normal.
The official rainfall season in the country is from June 1 to September 30.
"Overall, monsoon will be good this year. It will help agriculture and the economy," M Rajeevan, Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences, said.
"The plentiful and spread of southwest monsoon this year should help farmers and the output must be very good. It will also help Indian economy, though exact quantification cannot be made at this moment. We don't have an assessment as to how it will impact the economy," he said.
The country as a whole has so far received 7 percent excess rainfall, Mr Rajeevan said.
Predicting rainfall for September, he said there was an increase in rainfall over the foothills and adjoining northern plains and south peninsula in the first week of the month.
In the second week, the intensity of the rainfall is likely to decrease but there will be excess precipitation over central and north India. Conditions will also be favourable for withdrawal of monsoon from west Rajasthan, he added.
In the third week of the month, there will be an increase in the rainfall activity over the country, and rainfall will mostly be normal in the last week of September, he added.
"We are expecting normal to above normal rain in Kerala, Karnataka and coastal areas of Maharashtra around and after September 17," Mr Mohapatra said.
Though the rainfall activity has declined in September as compared to August and is now below normal, rains will revive in the next few days as fresh weather systems are developing, he added.
Mr Mohapatra said currently, the La Nina conditions, a phenomena associated with the cooling of equatorial Pacific waters, are prevailing and this is helping in a good monsoon. La Nina conditions are generally associated with a good rainfall season.
However, there is a possibility of a negative Indian Ocean Dipole in coming months. Negative IOD is associated with heating of the Indian Ocean waters. This has an impact on the monsoon.
"A negative IOD will neutralise the effect of La Nina," Mr Mohapatra added.
Usually, there are 13-14 low pressure areas across the four-month rainfall season, but August alone had five low pressure areas. Three low pressure areas developed in June, while one developed in July.
"There are nearly 55 low pressure area days during the monsoon season, but August alone had 27 low pressure days," Mr Mohapatra added.