The country is likely to have a normal monsoon this year, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Wednesday, a good news for farmers who are currently bearing the brunt of the COVID-19 lockdown.

The Southwest monsoon seasonal (June- September) rainfall over the country, as a whole, is likely to be normal, said the weather department at a press briefing.

“This year we will have a normal monsoon. Quantitatively, the rainfall during the monsoon season 2020 is expected to be 100 per cent of its long period average with an error of +5 or -5% due to model error,” said Madhavan Rajeevan, Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES).

According to a press release by the ministry, Neutral El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) conditions are prevailing over the Pacific Ocean and neutral Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) conditions are prevailing over the Indian Ocean.

In its first stage Long Range Forecast (LRF) for south-west monsoon season (June-September) rainfall, the IMD also gave the dates of onset in several places.

The date for the onset of monsoon in Kerala remains the same and will arrive on June 1, the official said. The date for Chennai will be June 4, Panjim June 7, Hyderabad June 8, Pune June 10 and Mumbai June 11.

The monsoon will reach the national capital on June 27.

The IMD said that few other global climate models indicate there is a possibility of development of weak La Nina conditions over the Pacific Ocean. “This is during the second half of the season, added the official.

The IMD will issue the updated forecasts in the last week of May or the first week of June this year as a part of the second stage forecast.