Skymet Downgrades Monsoon 2021 Forecast To Below Normal

A pedestrian runs through the rain at a market where stores are closed due to lockdown restrictions in Jalgaon, Maharashtra. (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

Skymet Downgrades Monsoon 2021 Forecast To Below Normal

India's southwest monsoons is likely to be below normal considering the present trajectory, said private weather forecasting service, Skymet, in a revised update.

Skymet is now forecasting monsoon rains to be at 94% of the long-period average with a (+/-) 4% margin of error from June to September, according to its updated forecast published on Monday.

The southwest monsoon had a timely onset, and rains in June were above normal at 110% of the LPA, according to the press release. However, July saw a prolonged break and the month ended with below-normal rainfall at 93% of LPA. The lull has continued in the first fortnight of August, with pan-India seasonal rainfall deficiency at 9% till mid-August, the release said.

The below normal status of monsoon has not improved till now, it added.

According to the forecaster:

  • There is 20% chance of drought (seasonal rainfall being less than 90% of LPA).

  • 60% chance of below normal rains (seasonal rainfall being between 90% and 95% of LPA).

  • 10% chance of normal rains (seasonal rainfall being less than 96-104% of LPA).

  • 10% chance of above normal rains (seasonal rainfall being 105-110% of LPA).

  • 0% chance of excess rains (seasonal rainfall being more than 110% of LPA).

Also read: India Volatile Rains May Impact Inflation, Barclays Bajoria Says

In terms of geographical risk, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Odisha, Kerala, and Northeast India are likely to be hit with deficient rains. The chance of drought over Gujarat and west Rajasthan appears imminent.

However, the spatial distribution of rainfall over the rain-fed areas of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh has been adequate. Accordingly, food production in the agricultural bowl of central parts may not be stressed and skewed, according to Skymet's forecasts.

As on Aug. 13, area sown in 2021 was at 997.08 lakh hectare compared with 1,015.15 lakh hectare in 2020.

The India Meteorological Department is expected to issue a periodic update on the progress of the southwest monsoon by end-August. It had forecast a normal monsoon in its last update.

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