New Delhi: India’s annual monsoon rains, which arrived about a week before normal in the south, are expected to strengthen in the next 2-3 days and end an early lull in the rainy season, a top weather official told Reuters on Thursday.
He said rains were likely to advance to more regions in southern India, and that monsoon rains were likely in western Maharasthra state in the next 48 hours.
“Conditions are favourable over parts of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Orissa,” said the official, who did not want to be identified.
Rains in these areas would help cultivation of rice, corn and sugarcane.
Maharasthra, home to India’s financial hub of Mumbai, is a key sugar-producing region and also produces cotton and oilseeds.
After Maharashtra, the monsoon moves to the western state of Gujarat, which produces mainly oilseeds and cotton.
The monsoon rains for the week ended 3 June were 35% below normal, the Meteorological Department said.
For the week ended 3 June, countrywide monsoon rainfall stood at 12.5 mm as against the normal rains of 19.2 mm, the weather office said on its website. The weather office divides the country into 36 zones for tracking rainfall. Monsoon rains were normal in 10 areas, and excess in six.
Trade experts termed the advancement of the annual rain cycle on schedule despite the current weak phase.