Private weather forecaster Skymet on Wednesday revised its monsoon rain forecast from normal to below normal. The forecaster said that the rainfall will be 92% of the Long Period Average. The Long Period Average is the average rainfall received by the country as a whole during the southwest monsoon, from June to September between the years 1951 and 2000, and is pegged at 89 cm.

Both Skymet and the India Meteorological Department in April predicted that the rains would be 100% of the Long Period Average.

On Wednesday, Skymet said that the country would receive 88% of the Long Period Average rain in August. The corresponding figure for September will be 93%, it said. Skymet added that the country faced a 25% chance of drought – a situation where the rain is less than 90% of the Long Period Average.

“As of now, the oceanic parameters are not at all favourable for enhancing monsoon rains during the second half of the season,” Skymet Managing Director Jatin Singh said. “Both the rainiest pockets of Northeast India and the west coast are likely to perform poorer than usual.”

However, India Meteorological Department Director General KJ Ramesh said Skymet’s prediction of below normal rainfall is premature, the Hindustan Times reported. “It is too early, it has only been two months, the monsoon rain totals can change in a matter of one week,” he said.