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IMD worried over July rainfall

The IMD in its updated forecast earlier this month said rainfall in July would be 92% of the long period average

Sanjeeb Mukherjee  |  New Delhi 


The southwest monsoon is in a brief lull after a good start and will pick up in the next two or three days, moving into more areas of Chhattisgarh, Odisha and West Bengal.

The meteorological department, however, feels rainfall in July may remain a matter of concern. July is the critical month for sowing kharif crops.

"June rains have been good and we expect the same for the next 10-12 days. Despite that, July rains remain a concern. July and August are the critical months," LS Rathore, director-general of the India Meteorological Department (IMD), told Business Standard. The distribution of rainfall would be crucial, he added.

The IMD in its updated forecast earlier this month said rainfall in July would be 92 per cent of the long period average. The forecast has a model error of plus and minus 9 per cent.

Monsoon rainfall was almost 13 per cent above normal within the first 10 days of its onset over Kerala on June 5. By June 18, however, rainfall had dipped to 10 per cent above normal.

"The monsoon usually arrives in Bihar by June 10 and east Uttar Pradesh by June 15. A further delay is expected in the onset of the monsoon over these areas," Skymet, a private weather forecasting agency, said.

The IMD also said over the next 48 hours temperature in northwest India would rise by over two degrees and fall thereafter.

The IMD has forecast India will receive deficient rainfall in this monsoon season. Agriculture, which contributes 15 per cent to India's gross domestic product but employs about 60 per cent of the population, is heavily dependent on the monsoon as only 40 per cent of the country's farmland is irrigated.Last year, India had received 12 per cent less monsoon rain, which hit production of grain, cotton and oilseed. Agriculture growth was 0.2 per cent in 2014-15. According to official estimates, grain output declined to 251.12 million tonnes in the July-June 2014-15 crop year from a record 265.04 million tonnes in the prior year.

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First Published: Fri, June 19 2015. 00:22 IST