Home >industry >Monsoon rains 51% below normal last week

New Delhi: After a month of adequate showers in June, monsoon rainfall in India was 51% less than normal last week, according to the India Meteorological Department (IMD). While all regions of the country received less than normal rainfall, central and peninsular India suffered the most.

Rainfall was excess or normal in 59% of the districts and deficient or scanty in the rest last week.

Although the southwest monsoon was vigorous over northern parts of the country during some days of the week, most of the country experienced dry conditions in the first week of July. For the country as a whole, rainfall from 1 June to 8 July was 4% below the Long Period Average.

IMD, in its latest long range forecast in June, warned that monsoon rainfall this year will most likely be deficient with northwest and central India receiving the least rainfall. The southwest monsoon, which brings more than 70% of the annual rainfall in India, is crucial in a country where 140 million people are dependent on agriculture and more than half the farmlands are rain-fed.

Not much improvement can be expected in July, according to government weather forecasters. Rainfall activity is expected to be subdued over many parts of western India, central India and interior peninsula, warned the IMD on Thursday.

Pune-based Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) earlier this week said that the forecast during July indicates that there will be an absence of large-scale monsoon system resulting in below normal monsoon activity in July, according to IITM.

Despite adequate showers in June, the performance of the monsoon in July and August remains important for the sowing season. Private forecaster Skymet Weather Services Pvt. Ltd, which has predicted normal rainfall this monsoon, said last week that monsoon in July would be normal. During the next week, Skymet says that the western coast of the country will see increased rainfall.

“There are strong indications that rainfall activity along the west coast is likely to pick up. This week is expected to do better than the first week of July. Although weather activity may not be simultaneous in nature, the entire belt is expected to remain weather active. Intensity of rain will increase in Kerala and coastal Karnataka first, and will cover the remaining parts of the West Coast later on," Skymet said on Thursday.

IMD said there will be increased rainfall over the western Himalayan region, adjoining northern plains and east and northeast India on most days till 25 July.

Meanwhile, the 2015 El Niño is likely to strengthen in the coming weeks owing to recent tropical cyclonic activity, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) said on Tuesday. This is likely to increase temperatures below the surface of the tropical Pacific Ocean, which may in turn raise sea surface temperatures further in the coming months.

The El Niño, a weather phenomenon resulting from warming of waters in the tropical Pacific Ocean, is usually associated with drier monsoons in India.

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