This is for the long period average (LPA) of 887 mm for the four-month epoch from this June to September.
A normal south-west monsoon bodes well for the Indian economy and is likely to boost rural demand and alleviate farm distress.
The IMD arrives days after a similar forecast done by the private by the weather forecast agency Skymet Weather, which on 4 April stated as the Monsoon 2018 was likely to remain normal at 100 percent (with an error margin of +/-5 percent).
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Anything less than 90 per cent of LPA is termed a "deficient" monsoon, and 90-96 per cent of the same is considered "below normal". The dynamic model has forecast a rainfall of 99 per cent plus or minus a model error of five per cent, while the statistical model forecast is 97 per cent plus or minus model error of five per cent.
Hoping that the monsoon will be constant and not sporadic, IMD said that region based forecast will be available only during the second assessment in June and the date of the monsoon's onset into Kerala will be announced in mid May.
For generating the forecast for the 2018 southwest Monsoon season rainfall, atmospheric and Oceanic initial conditions of April 2018 were used.
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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 will receive normal monsoon this year".
Skymet also mentioned in its report that above normal rains will benefit the farmers who are expecting good showers in the sowing month of June.
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The IMD's reasoning for the unexpected break is that it was caused by intra-seasonal variability as Pacific cyclones over Bay of Bengal pulled the monsoon currents towards them, leading to the disappearance of rains over Central and Northern India, plunging them on the brink of drought.