Even as the government talks about a recovery in the kharif sowing pattern, the monsoon is moving in a volatile fashion. Last week (July 23-July 29), the actual rainfall was 18% less than the average seen in this period. In the previous week, actual rainfall was 15% higher.
The South-West monsoon rainfall not only brings relief to people from the summer heat, but is eagerly awaited by farmers. Their crop output depends on it, in a country where irrigation infrastructure is still pitiful, well into the 21st century. For them, the revised monsoon forecast is a dampener. The weather bureau (www.imd.gov.in) has revised its South-West monsoon forecast.
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This may qualify as a near normal monsoon as per the meteorological department’s guidelines, but is lower compared to last year’s forecast of 99%. The Met has been using a new model since 2007, and last year the actual rainfall fell just 1% short of the forecast. Lesser rainfall usually raises a question mark on agricultural output. The economic impact of a poor crop has lessened as industry and services account for a larger share of GDP. But in a slowdown, a good agricultural output provides a buffer. Continue Reading →
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The Indian weather bureau has updated its initial forecast for the Southwest Monsoon. In April 2008, the bureau had predicted that rainfall would be 99% of its long term average, plus or minus 5%. The long term average refers to a rainfall of 89 cms. The updated forecasts suggests rainfall to be near normal, and will be 100% if its long term average, plus or minus 4%.