Monsoon rains to be below normal, says Met Department

Monsoon Jitendra SinghNew Delhi (ISJ) ? The Southwest Monsoon rainfall across India during June-September season is like to be below normal, said Dr. Jitendra Singh, Minister for Earth Sciences. Announcing the Long Range Forecast update for 2014 in New Delhi on Monday (June 09), Dr. Singh said, the rainfall for the country as a whole is like to be 93% of the long period.

?Overall from June to September across the country, the monsoon is expected to be long period average (LPA) of about 90-96%,? said Dr. Jitendra Singh. ?If you take the across the country monthly average, it would mean around 93%, which would mean to say about 82%.?

Northwest India ? comprising states of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi Uttaranchal and Uttar Pradesh -- will be the worst-hit, where the monsoon is likely to be 85%, followed by the southern peninsula with 93%, central India 94% and an almost normal monsoon in the northeast India.

The subcontinent is also facing the prospects of El Nino, which is on the threshold now with the temperature above normal by 0.5 degree.

??05 degree above normal warming at the threshold to be qualified as El Nino and the trend is indicative, but to be qualified as El Nino will take some more time,? said Dr. Laxman Singh Rathode, Director General of Indian Meteorological Department.

If El Nino emerges, it could weaken the prospects of monsoon, affecting the crops. Monsoon rain in India is the main source of irrigation for its 263 million farmers. The sea surface temperature conditions in the Pacific and Indian Oceans are indicative of El Nino, and chances of its occurrence during the monsoon are very high, according to the Met Department.

The southwest monsoon hit Kerala coast on June 06, while it is expected to reach the national capital of Delhi by June 29-30, said Dr. Laxman Singh Rathode, Director General of Indian Meteorological Department. He said, the ongoing heatwave in northern India will continue for another 3-4 days. Delhi continued to reel under the hot spell, with a maximum day temperature of 47.8 degree Celsius, which is highest in the last 62 years.

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