India is expected to see a "normal" monsoon this year, the government said on Wednesday in its forecast or the four-month rainfall season in the country.
The southwest monsoon season, that replenishes the country's farm-dependent economy, first hits the southern tip of Kerala usually in the first week of June and retreats from Rajasthan by September.
In an online briefing, weather department chief M Mohapatra said the Long Period Average of monsoon will be 100 per cent which falls in the "normal" category.
India defines average, or normal, rainfall as between 96 per cent and 104 per cent of a 50-year average or Long Period Average of 89 centimetres for the entire four-month season.
Last year, monsoon hit the Kerala coast on June 8, after a week's delay.
"This year we will have a normal monsoon. Quantitatively, the monsoon rainfall, during the monsoon season, is expected to be 100 per cent of its long period average with an error of +5 or -5 per cent due to model error," Madhavan Rajeevan, Secretary at the Ministry of Earth Sciences, said. He said the weather department has revised the onset and withdrawal dates of the monsoon from this year. However, the normal onset date over Kerala, which is June 1, will remain the same.
Due to a lack of adequate alternative source of irrigation, rural India is heavily dependent on a good monsoon season. Around 75 per cent of the rainfall is from the four-month monsoon season; a good season has a direct impact on the economy as agriculture remains a major contributor to the country's GDP (Gross Domestic Product).
The weather office or the India Meteorological Department (IMD) declares the arrival of monsoon rains only after parameters measuring consistency of rainfall over a defined geography, intensity, cloudiness and wind speed are satisfied.