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Weak monsoon phase to extend till July end, says official

Weak monsoon phase to extend till July end, says official
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First Published: Tue, Jul 24 2007. 02 41 PM IST
Updated: Tue, Jul 24 2007. 02 41 PM IST
New Delhi: India’s annual monsoon rains entered a weak phase in mid-July and are unlikely to revive before the end of the month, a senior weather department official told Reuters on Tuesday 25 July.
“There is a break in monsoon rains since July 14 ... it is normal that a break in monsoon occurs,” said the official, who did not want to be identified.
“This condition should continue until the month-end.”
India’s annual monsoon rains occur between June and September.
The official said there were no favourable weather conditions at present which could reactivate the monsoon immediately, but was hopeful that rains would start again in August.
The rains are vital for summer-sown crops, including rice, cotton, oilseeds and sugarcane, which are planted in July and harvested from September-October.
The weather official said rainfall was now confined largely to small regions close to the Himalayas or in the south.
Temperatures have also risen in central and northwest India, with dry winds blowing over these regions, he added.
With only 40% of India’s cultivable land irrigated, the monsoon is vital to its near-trillion-dollar economy as it determines farm output and subsequent rural demand for a range of consumer products.
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First Published: Tue, Jul 24 2007. 02 41 PM IST