New Delhi: India could get rains that surpass earlier expectations throughout the June-to-September south-west monsoon season, the chief associated with the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.

IMD, that may issue its second forecast because of this year’s monsoon at the beginning of June, had forecast normal rain through the south-west monsoon season in its first forecast in mid-April.

“Things have improved in the latter part of the April,” said K.J. Ramesh, IMD’s director-general.

The probability of the Indian Ocean Dipole, a condition which nullifies the effect associated with the El Niño weather phenomenon, has grown by several notches, Ramesh said.

The monsoon provides about 70 percent of India’s yearly rainfall, crucial for growing crops such as for instance rice, cane, corn, cotton and soybeans because nearly half of the nation’s farmland lacks irrigation.

“We assessed 96 percent based on the climatological conditions up to March. Now, conditions are becoming favourable for an improvement over our April 18 estimate,” Ramesh said.

With its first forecast, IMD had said rainfall could be 96% associated with the long-period average (LPA) with a 38% possibility of a near-normal monsoon. It’s going to update these numbers during the early June. The numbers were centred on its forecast that El Niño would hit India to the end of the monsoon season, all over middle or end of September.

“International climate models have reduced the likelihood of El Niño this year compared to last month,” ABM said with its latest ENSO outlook released on 9 May.

The south-west monsoon is regarded as normal if the rainfall is 96-104% of its LPA and above normal if it is higher than this.

Reuters on Wednesday first reported that IMD had forecast above-average rainfall in 2017.