The India Meteorological Department on Monday forecast a “near normal” southwest monsoon for 2019. The department said it will issue a second phase forecast in the first week of June.

The department predicted that the well-distributed rainfall scenario will benefit crops during the kharif season. “The monsoon seasonal (June to September) rainfall is likely to be 96% of the Long Period Average,” the statement said. “Weak El Niño conditions are likely to prevail during the monsoon season with reduced intensity in the later part of the season.”

M Rajeevan Nair, secretary Ministry of Earth Sciences, said the department does not expect any adverse impact from the El Niño phenomenon on the monsoon, Mint reported.

The weather department categorises average, or normal, rainfall between 96% and 104% of a 50-year average of 89 centimeters for the season between June and September.