Monsoon rains in India are expected to be below normal this year, the country’s only private weather forecasting agency said on Wednesday, dampening prospects of higher farm and economic growth in the $2.6 trillion economy.
“The Pacific Ocean has become strongly warmer than average. The model projections call for 80 percent chance of El Nino during March-May, dropping to 60 percent for June to August,” Jatin Singh, managing director of Skymet, told reporters.
“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.”
The monsoon season delivers about 70 percent of India’s annual rainfall and is key to the success of the farm sector in Asia’s third-biggest economy.
In February, Skymet said monsoon rains in India are expected to be normal this year.
Indian’s top government weather official said last month that monsoon is likely to be a robust and healthy one this year provided there isn’t a surprise El Nino phenomenon.