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Monsoon covers entire country, rain deficit stands at 18%

The rain deficit since the start of the monsoon season on June 1 stands at 18% as of Friday.

, ET Bureau|
Updated: Jul 19, 2019, 11.37 PM IST
Indian farmers plant rice, cane, corn, cotton, soybean and groundnut in the rainy months of June and July, with harvests from October.
NEW DELHI: The monsoon has covered the entire country with rain clouds reaching west Rajasthan on Friday, the weather office has said. It is four days behind its usual date of July 15.

The rain deficit since the start of the monsoon season on June 1 stands at 18% as of Friday, India Meteorological Department said.

But the department has predicted above average rainfall across the country, barring the northern mountain regions and the eastern states, for the next two weeks.

Rainfall in June was 33% below long-term average, collecting only 112.1mm against a normal rainfall of 166.9 mm, due to a delayed landfall and slow progress.

The deficit had indicated that this year’s monsoon could be one of the worst in a century, according to official data.

But July started strongly and the country experienced its first surplus week of rain this season between July 3 to July 10, recording 28% rain above normal. The rainfall for July is currently only 3% below normal with almost two weeks to go.

Natural factors point to an encouraging monsoon season ahead, experts said.

Currently, weak El Nino conditions over the Pacific Ocean indicate that the El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) will remain in the neutral phase over the coming months, according to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM). Additionally, the forecaster has said the Indian Ocean dipole (IOD) will remain between neutral to positive.

IOD refers to the temperature difference between different parts of the Indian Ocean.

Water levels in India’s 91major reserves are at 88% of their live storage capacity at present, according to data from the Central Water Commission.

Earlier, the government had announced an increase in the minimum support price of pulses and oilseeds due to a fall in the plantation of kharif crops, owing to the delayed onset of rains.

This led to an increase in the prices of pulses between 1% to 8%, with traders and analysts expecting further price hikes.

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