India could receive above normal monsoon rainfall this year, the weather department said on Tuesday, PTI reported.

Timely and normal rains are critical for the country’s farm output after a brutal heatwave in March and April hit crops. The monsoon can also help tackle India’s inflation, which jumped to an eight-year high in April.

Mrutyunjay Mohapatra, director-general of the India Meteorological Department, said at a press conference on Tuesday that the country is likely to see rainfall at 103% of a long-period average this season.

The long-period average is the average rainfall received by the country during the southwest monsoon from June to September between 1971 and 2020. The average is pegged at 87 cm. Rainfall between 96% and 104% of the long period average is considered to be in the “normal range”.

In April, the India Meteorological Department had said the monsoon rains are expected to be 99% of the long-term average this year.

At Tuesday’s press conference, Mohapatra said central India and the southern peninsula are set to receive above normal rainfall at more than 106% of the long period average.

This is the fourth straight year that India is likely to witness a normal monsoon, according to PTI. Before this, the country saw normal monsoon from 2005-’08 and 2010-’13.

The extreme southwestern peninsula that includes Kerala could get below normal rainfall this year, Mohapatra added.

On Sunday, the monsoon arrived on the coast of Kerala three days ahead of the usual time.

Also read:

  1. Explainer: Why does India get monsoon rains every year?
  2. Why India’s heatwave holds lessons for the world