India likely to get normal monsoon this year, Skymet says

By Thomson Reuters Apr 9, 2024 | 1:42 AM

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India is expected to see a normal monsoon in 2024, private weather forecasting agency Skymet said on Tuesday, promising some respite after a prediction of more-than-normal heat wave days in the summer preceding the June-September rainy season.

Monsoon rains are expected to be 102% of the long-period average of 868.6 mm for the four-month period, Skymet said.

The Indian Meteorological Department has predicted that in the April-June period, various parts of the country could record 10-20 heat wave days compared to the normal four to eight days.

Nearly half of India’s farmland, which has no irrigation cover, depends on the annual June-September rains to grow crops such as rice, corn, cane, cotton and soybeans.

“El Nino is swiftly flipping over to La Nina. And, monsoon circulation inclines to be stronger during La Nina years,” Jatin Singh, managing director, Skymet, said in a statement.

The weather forecaster expects “sufficiently good rains” in southern, western and north-western parts of the country.

Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh in the north together make the farm bowl of north India.

(Reporting by Tanvi Mehta; Editing by YP Rajesh)