The India Meterological Department said that the country’s monsoon deficit had reduced to 22% of the average as of Jun 26, reports said.
According to the IMD, rainfall was 62% deficient in north west India, 31% below average in central India, 3% above normal in east and north east India and 29% below average in the south peninsula.
The weather office last week cut its prediction to 96% for the June-September season, the least since 2009 when it registered 78%. The bureau defines normal precipitation as 96-104% of the average rainfall received between 1951 and 2000.
Rain in August is forecast at 96% of the long-period average as weak El Nino conditions may develop in the later part of the rainy season, the forecaster said. El Nino is the warming of surface temperatures of the Pacific Ocean which adversely affect rainfall patterns.
In the initial stages of the monsoon season, crops are not greatly affected by the volume of rain. However, by mid-July after the monsoon has covered the entire country, the distribution of rainfall is crucial for their growth.
If the monsoon plays truant this year, it may stoke already sticky inflation, the last thing the country’s government needs.
In India, where agriculture and farming account for 15% of the $2tn economy, timely and sufficient rainfall is extremely crucial as 55% of the arable land depends on rains for water needs.