Monsoon to be 'normal' in 2021; East and Northeast may get less rain, says IMD

Weather, April 16: India will probably experience normal monsoon rainfall this year as La Nina or El Nino weather conditions, which impact rain patterns, are likely to be absent, according to state-run forecaster India Meteorological Department.

The 2021 southwest monsoon starting June is expected to be normal at 98 per cent of the Long Period Average (LPA), said IMD’s forecast that has a model error of plus and minus 5 per cent. The LPA of the monsoon is 88 centimetres. Rainfall between 96-104 per cent of the LPA is considered normal rainfall.

This is good news for all as the monsoon is expected to be normal this year,” M Rajeevan, secretary of the Ministry of Earth Sciences, told reporters in Delhi.

IMD said its initial forecasts show that barring India’s East and Northeast, which includes Odisha, Bihar, Jharkhand, North-Chhattisgarh, East UP, and Assam, rainfall in all other regions of the country is expected to be normal.

However, several experts say that below-normal rains in East and North-East India are not always harmful as the quantum of rains in these parts and also the daily average is higher than other regions of the country.

IMD also said that there is very little chance of the dreaded El Nino during the monsoon season. The Indian Ocean Dipole, which is another weather system that has a direct bearing on the Indian monsoon, is also expected to be neutral this year.

A good, well-distributed and timely monsoon will mean another year of bumper farm production in 2021, which could have a cascading positive impact and one less reason to worry for an economy battling another wave of Covid-19 infections.

A few days back, a private weather forecasting agency, Skymet had also said that the southwest monsoon in 2021 is likely to be ‘normal’ at 103 per cent of the Long Period Average (LPA).

Skymet’s forecast was also with a model error of plus and minus 5 per cent.

If both the two forecasts come true, it would mean that for the third consecutive year India will have a normal to above-normal rainfall during the monsoon months.

In 2020, actual rainfall across India was 109 per cent of LPA, while in 2019, it was 110 per cent of the LPA.

Also Read: Weather: Heavy Rains to Lash Assam, Meghalaya, Arunachal on March 31 and April 1


The last time, India had three consecutive years of normal monsoon, according to Skymet, was between 1996 to 1998, more than two decades back.

Skymet also said that there is an 85 per cent probability of rainfall across the country to be normal to above-normal rainfall in 2021 and just a 15 per cent chance of rainfall being below normal and no chance of widespread drought in the country this year.

Buoyed by the good rains, the total food grain harvest in 2020-21 is estimated to be over 300 million tonnes which were an all-time high harvest.