New Delhi: Ministry of Earth Sciences Secretary M. Rajeevan and Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) DG K.J. Ramesh during a press conference on the "1st stage Long Range Forecast (LRF) for Southwest Monsoon rainfall for 2019", in New Delhi on Apri

New Delhi, April 15 : The India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Monday predicted the monsoon to be "near-normal" this year with an expected rainfall of 96 per cent, on the other hand, the Skymet Weather has claimed that the monsoon is likely to be "below normal" to the extent of 93 per cent.

Speaking to IANS, Mahesh Palawat, Vice president Meteorology and Climate Change at the Skymet Weather, said the impact of El Nino will be more in June and July, but it will reduce by August and September.

"According to Skymet Weather, the monsoon is likely to be "below normal" to the tune of 93 per cent, with an error margin of +/-5 per cent, of the Long Period Average (LPA) of 887 mm for the four-month period from June to September," he said.

While the IMD has predicted two per cent probability of "excess" rainfalls and 10 per cent for "above normal" rainfall, the Skymet predicted zero per cent chances for both.

Palawat also said the rains in June and the first week of July will be less.

"In the second half of July, the rainfall will go up. There is a possibility of good rains in August and September, but it will not be able to cover up the deficiency of June and July. The impact of El Nino will be more in June and July, it will reduce by August and September as it will be revolving. Currently, the chances of El Niño conditions are 80 per cent, which will decline, but would remain as high as 60 per cent by mid-monsoon," he said.

The IMD, however, predicted that the developing El Nino in the Pacific Ocean will start weakening after June.

El Niño is a part of a routine climate pattern that occurs when sea surface temperatures in the tropical Pacific Ocean rise to above-normal levels for an extended period of time. It influences temperature and rainfall across the global.

The IMD said the monsoon in the country this year is predicted to be "near normal" with the well-distributed rainfall expected to be around 96 per cent, at a moderate error estimate of plus-minus five per cent of the Long Period Average.

IMD Director General K.J. Ramesh ruled out any adverse impact of 'El Nino' on the monsoon such as erratic rainfall.

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