Skymet, the private weather forecasting agency, has predicted a "promising monsoon" for farmers in India, sticking to its stand that rains this year would be normal or 102 per cent of the long term average.
In a report released on its website in the evening on Wednesday, Skymet said that "with the Indian Meteorological department predicting a second straight drought year for the country, a massive challenge could be ahead of Prime minister Narendra Modi's ambitious plans of reviving India's subdued economy.
However, it said it disagreed with IMD's prediction of 88% rains.
Skymet said that Monsoon 2015's overall performance will be normal, and promising for farmers.
But, it said, the monsoon is likely to be weak in the sub-divisions of south interior Karnataka, Rayalaseema, East Madhya Pradesh and Arunachal Pradesh.
Noting that the main Kharif or Monsoon crops cultivated in India are paddy, soyabean, cotton and groundnut, it said that soyabean production would be hampered as Madhya Pradesh, which will be affected by a below normal monsoon, produces 53 per cent of the crop. The other crops will only be marginally affected.
Agricultural produce, it says, will not be hampered in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana as these states have sufficient irrigation facilities and will also receive normal rainfall throughout the four-month long monsoon season. The West Coast will also receive good showers, while Peninsular India will be at a moderate risk of below normal monsoon rains.
On Tuesday, Skymet had released a report saying why it was sticking to the 102% prediction for monsoon, despite the IMD forecasting a drought year.
It said that this year El Nino had been causing a lot of anxiety among people but El Nino has been continuing since 2014 and is not a cause of much concern.
"Weather agencies worldwide are evaluating the performance of Monsoon 2015 under the scare of El Nino. However, Skymet has been assessing other oceanic parameters and atmospheric conditions since December 2014, and will not change its stance that monsoon will be ‘normal," the report says.
"We at Skymet believe that other forecasting agencies are over-weighing El Nino's impact on monsoon and therefore, sticks to normal rains to the tune of 102% of the long term average (based on 30 years)," it said.