The monsoon impacts inflation, jobs, and industrial demand. Ample harvests raise rural incomes and keeps a check on inflation.
Sharma explained that it is time a scientific body like IMD doesn’t play with the psychology of farmers who anticipate the onset of monsoon.
“The significance of the onset of monsoon is that it boosts the morale of the farmers. A few years ago, a bad forecast will not be declared at the beginning of the season, because they didn’t want to disappoint people. But with improvement in technology, it is alright to declare that it is a bad monsoon. 2014 and 2015 were drought years but India managed to absorb the shock and get over it. There is no need to unnecessarily lie about the forecast,” he told The Quint.
Based on the current projections, south Maharashtra, Madhya Maharashtra, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu will anticipate good rains around 10 June. Experts stated that declaring early monsoon onset could lead to confusing messaging to farmers, who could even incur huge losses.
Bhagat suggested that rather than using fixed thresholds for declaring monsoon onsets, IMD must consider using monsoon indices that talk about strength and phase which will help understand the rainfall patterns better.
He also pointed out that wrong declaration “could affect future reliance on onset data for studies related to climate change.”