El Nino will start weakening by June, which will ensure that good rainfall is not affected.

Southwest rainfall between June and September is likely to be near-normal, the Indian Meteorological Department said on Monday. According to the department, the rainfall between June and September likely to be 96% of the Long Period Average (LPA). LPA is the average rainfall in the season between 1951 and 2000, which is 89 cm.

“India is going to have a near-normal monsoon in 2019 as the south-west monsoon is likely to be normal," said M Rajeevan Nair, Secretary Ministry of Earth Sciences.

“El Nino will start weakening by June, which will ensure that good rainfall is not affected," explained Nair.

According to the latest global forecasts, weak El Nino conditions are likely to persist this summer. "We expect a uniform distribution of monsoon across the country...it will be well distributed. This will be a good year for farmers," added the Secretary.

In 2018, against a forecast of 97% long term average, India had recorded 91% rains at the end of July-September monsoon season.

However, IMD stated that weak El Niño conditions are “likely to prevail during the monsoon season with reduced intensity in the latter part of the season.”

El Nino is a condition where the Pacific Ocean warms unusually and affects climate condition in areas such as India. According to Livemint, it was because of El Nino conditions that India received normal rainfall between June and September 2016 after facing droughts in 2014 and 2015.

However, the forecast released by Skymet earlier this month said that the LPA would be below normal, at 93%.

Skymet said that monsoon is going to have "a very sluggish start" and deficit rains are likely to spill into July.

However, the second half of the season would see better rainfall as August and September are expected to see normal rains, Skymet Managing Director Jatin Singh had said.

According to Skymet, the areas that will be affected due to deficient rainfall are Karnataka, Vidarbha and Marathwada in Maharashtra, southwest Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand along with the northeastern states.

On the other hand, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, and coastal Andhra Pradesh will receive more rainfall, said G P Sharma, President (Meteorology and Climate Change) at Skymet.

"The Pacific Ocean has become strongly warmer than average. The model projections call for 80 per cent chance of El Nino (weather-producing phenomena) during March-May, dropping to 60% for June to August. This means, it is going to be a devolving El Nino year, though retaining threshold values all through the season. Thus, Monsoon 2019 is likely to be below normal," Jatin Singh had said.

With IANS inputs