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‘Normal monsoon’ prediction for 2024 in India, crucial Insights on its implications

Monsoon 2024: India and South Asia are heavily reliant on the monsoon season. It plays a pivotal role in shaping the region’s socio-economic landscape. With agriculture being a cornerstone of the economy and livelihoods of millions, the timely arrival and distribution of monsoon rainfall are crucial. They ensure food security and sustain rural economies.

This assessment comes with an error margin of +/- 5%, indicating a potential range of 96-104% of the LPA. Skymet’s earlier forecast, released on January 12, 2024, also predicted a ‘normal’ monsoon and maintains the same assessment.

The start of the monsoon season is expected to be affected by the quick transition from El Nino to La Nina weather patterns. While La Nina typically strengthens monsoon circulation, the initial phase of the season may face challenges due to the residual effects of El Nino. However, the latter half of the season is anticipated to be more favourable.

Jatin Singh, Managing Director of Skymet, highlighted a historical trend. Transitions from Super El Nino to strong La Nina have often resulted in favorable monsoon conditions. He also emphasized that while the initial phase of the season may be impacted, the latter half is expected to be significantly more beneficial.

Skymet anticipates that regions such as the South, West, and Northwest of India will experience sufficiently good rainfall.

However, states in the eastern region, including Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, and West Bengal, may face the risk of deficit rainfall during peak monsoon months of July and August. Additionally, Northeast India is likely to observe below-normal rainfall during the first half of the season.

This forecast from Skymet provides valuable insights for various sectors, including agriculture, water resources, and infrastructure planning, helping stakeholders prepare for the upcoming monsoon season.

The monsoon replenishes water reservoirs, rivers, and groundwater, serving as a primary source of water for irrigation, drinking, and industrial purposes. Beyond agriculture and water resources, the monsoon influences various sectors such as energy, infrastructure, public health, and tourism.

Given its profound impact across multiple domains, the monsoon season holds immense significance for India and South Asia, shaping policies, practices, and livelihoods throughout the region.

The monsoon season in South Asian countries, including India, has significant effects across various sectors:

According to the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), agriculture in India heavily depends on the monsoon. Around 70% of the country’s annual rainfall occurs during the monsoon season.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare of India reports that over 60% of India’s net sown area depends on monsoon rains for irrigation.
In years of deficient monsoon rainfall, agricultural production can decline significantly. For example, during the severe drought in 2009, India’s food grain production fell by about 16%.

The World Bank estimates that agriculture accounts for about 16% of India’s GDP. It also employs nearly half of the country’s workforce.
A study published by the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER) suggests that a 10% increase in monsoon rainfall can lead to a 0.3% increase in India’s GDP.

Water Resources
According to the Central Water Commission of India, over 80% of India’s annual freshwater resources are derived from monsoon rainfall.
The Indian government’s Ministry of Jal Shakti reports that around 60% of India’s irrigation needs are met by monsoon rains.

The Central Electricity Authority of India states that hydropower contributes around 13% of India’s total electricity generation.
During years of abundant monsoon rainfall, hydropower generation increases, while drought conditions can lead to reduced hydropower output.

Infrastructure and Transportation:
The National Disaster Management Authority of India reports that floods during the monsoon season affect an average of 32 million people annually in the country.
The Indian Road Congress estimates that around 1,000 people die every year due to monsoon-related road accidents. Slippery roads and poor visibility during heavy rainfall primarily cause these accidents.

Public Health
The Indian Ministry of Health and Family Welfare reports that waterborne diseases like cholera and typhoid increase during the monsoon season. These diseases affect millions of people annually.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), India accounts for a significant proportion of global cases of dengue fever. Outbreaks often occur during and after the monsoon season.

Insurance and Disaster Management:
The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) states that natural disasters, including floods and cyclones, accounted for over $15 billion in insured losses in India between 2000 and 2020.
The National Disaster Management Authority of India coordinates relief efforts during monsoon-related disasters, providing assistance to affected individuals and communities.
These statistics underscore the significant impact of the monsoon season on various sectors in India. They highlight the importance of effective management strategies. These strategies aim to mitigate risks and build resilience.

As South Asia prepares for the upcoming monsoon season, governments, stakeholders, and communities must pay attention to forecasts and insights. Agencies like Skymet Weather provide valuable information. This information helps in planning and preparedness. It allows for proactive measures to mitigate risks and maximize opportunities.

By understanding and preparing for the multifaceted impacts of the monsoon across agriculture, economy, water resources, infrastructure, public health, and disaster management, nations can enhance their resilience. They can effectively navigate the challenges and opportunities that accompany this vital natural phenomenon.

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