New Delhi: With several states continuing to witness below-normal rains, the overall rain deficit of the country has increased to 10%, according to the India Meteorological Department (IMD).

As many as 11 sub-divisions recorded deficient rains, including major parts of Haryana, Gujarat, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and north-eastern states, affecting the cultivation of rain-fed Kharif crops.

According to the weather department, as many as 16 districts in Karnataka, six in Andhra Pradesh, nine in Telangana and 19 in Tamil Nadu witnessed below-normal rains. Monsoon conditions were weak for Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal. Bihar recorded 21% deficit with 24 districts facing below-normal rains, while rain deficit for Haryana stood at -21% and for Gujarat at -27%.

Even as the monsoon season is nearing its end, subdued monsoon conditions indicate the development of weak El nino over the Pacific, which negatively affects the south-west monsoon.

“The warming trend has had some impact on convection over the Pacific, especially in August and September, which also explains the recent typhoon that affected Philippines. It has also indirectly caused reduction of convection over the Indian region and weakening of monsoon," according to Dr D.S. Pai, head, Climate Prediction Group, IMD.

However, Pai highlighted that El nino was yet to develop fully, before it could affect the monsoon directly.

El Niño is a periodic warming of water in the Pacific Ocean every few years, which negatively affects the south-west monsoon and is associated with droughts.

Amid increasing rain deficit, IMD in its latest forecast predicted that rainfall situation was likely to improve during the next three days, with development of low pressure area over Bay of Bengal.

“The system is expected to develop into a depression within 36 hours and cross Odisha, north Andhra Pradesh and bring enhanced rainfall over these states, including Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, which is likely to bring down the deficit," according to Charan Singh, senior scientist at IMD.

According to IMD, fairly widespread rains are likely over West Bengal and Odisha during 19 to 21 September, over Coastal Andhra Pradesh during 18 -21, Chhattisgarh and Telangana on 20 and 21, respectively; over Madhya Pradesh on 21 and 22, and over parts of northwest India on 22 and 23 September, further delaying the withdrawal of monsoon by a week.

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