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IMD Forecasts Above-Normal Monsoon Rainfall for India in 2024

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) predicts above-normal cumulative rainfall for the 2024 monsoon season, estimating it at 106% of the long-period average. La Nina conditions are expected to develop by August-September, enhancing rainfall prospects. Despite the positive outlook, the distribution of rainfall may vary spatially and temporally across the country, influenced by climate change-induced variability. Notably, climate scientists highlight a decline in rainy days coupled with an increase in heavy rain events, intensifying droughts and floods.

Historical data reveals that India witnessed above-normal monsoon rainfall in nine instances following El Nino events succeeded by La Nina conditions. Critical factors contributing to the monsoon forecast include the Indian Ocean Dipole conditions and snow cover over the Northern Hemisphere, alongside the transition from moderate El Nino to neutral and potentially La Nina conditions during the monsoon season. Given that the southwest monsoon significantly impacts India’s agriculture sector, accounting for 70% of annual rainfall, the forecast holds implications for the country’s economy and food security.