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The Rainfall in Assam and Meghalaya besides Odisha, Jharkhand and eastern Uttar Pradesh is likely to be below normal, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Friday.

However, rainfall will be normal or above normal in the rest of the country.

The Long Period Average (LPA) will be 98 per cent with an error margin of plus and minus 5 percent, said M Rajeevan, secretary of the Ministry of Earth Sciences.

“The monsoon will be 98 per cent of the LPA, which is normal rainfall. It is really good news for the country and will help India have a good agriculture output,” Rajeevan said.

The LPA, the average of the season’s rainfall across the country from 1961-2010, is 88 cm.

The news augurs well for the economy, battered due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Southwest monsoon is one of the primary drivers of the country’s economy, which is largely based on agriculture and its allied activities. Large parts of the country rely on the four-month rainfall season for agriculture and also for filling reservoirs.

This is the first time the IMD has made a specific forecast on spatial distribution.

The country has recorded above normal rainfall for the last two rainfall seasons.

The La Nina and El Nino factors are major influences on the Indian monsoon.

The former is associated with the cooling of the Pacific waters and brings good rainfall while the latter is linked to the heating of Pacific waters and could lead to deficient precipitation.

“There are less chances of formation of an El Nino,” Rajeevan said.

He said in recent years, the year after La Nina has usually seen a normal rainfall season.

The Skymet had said the north India plains, along with a few parts of the Northeast region, are likely to be at a risk of being rain deficient through the season.

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