After Skymet, IMD also forecasts normal Monsoon 2018 at 97 percent


The IMD, which released its initial forecast for the four-month monsoon season, also said preliminary indications showed this year's rains would evenly distributed. The average rainfall in "above normal" monsoon is between 104-110 per cent of the LPA while anything beyond 110 per cent of the LPA is considered as "excess".

The top IMD official said there was "very less probability" of a deficient Monsoon this year, and added that the date of onset of Monsoon will be declared in the middle of the month of May. The first stage forecast is issued in April and the second stage forecast is issued in June.

Earlier, on April 4, private weather forecasting agency Skymet also predicted normal monsoon keeping it at 100 percent, with an error estimate of plus-minus 5 per cent.

Normal rains in last two years helped a rebound in farm growth rate to 6.8% in 2016-17 and an estimated 3% in 2017-18.

This forecast comes with a model error of plus or minus 5%. A normal monsoon is in the range of 96-104 percent of the LPA. India receives 89 cm of rainfall during the four-month monsoon season, which is nearly 75 per cent of its annual rainfall.

Sending a positive signal to farm sector and overall economy, the country's national weather forecaster - India Meteorological Department (IMD) - on Monday predicted "normal" monsoon rains during June-September period. India had faced deficient rains during monsoon season in 2015 and 2014, making both these years drought years.