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El Niño effect: Govt expects below-normal rain

The country has 7% less rain than normal during the period between June 1 and July 20

BS Reporter  |  New Delhi 

The El Nino weather effect will further impact the southwest monsoon in the remaining part of the four-month season that started in June.

In a written response to a question on this in then Lok Sabha, earth sciences minister Harsh Vardhan said the country had seven per cent less rain than normal during the period between June 1 and July 20.

"El Nino has adversely affected the monsoon so far, as per the model forecasts. It is also expected to affect the monsoon in the coming months," he said.

The adverse weather effect is likely to strengthen during the remaining months of the monsoon season and post monsoon season, he added.

India Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted a below-normal monsoon in 2015. It feels rain in July and August will be eight per cent and 10 per cent less, respectively.

IMD data shows from June 1 till Wednesday, the northwest got six per cent above normal rain. Central India got 13 per cent less. South peninsular India was 12 per cent below normal, and the east and northeast were six per cent below.

Private weather forecasting agency Skymet, however, said rain would be normal in July. Pune-based and state-run Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology said rain would remain normal to above normal over most parts in the remaining days of July and also early August, being particularly vigorous over central and north India.

Agriculture ministry data showed that till July 16, sowing of kharif crops was complete in more than half the normal area, much better than 2014, when during the same period it was completed in only 33 per cent. The area covered so far in 2015 is about 4.5 million hectares more than the average area covered during the same period in the past five years. Water levels in reservoirs are also comfortable.

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First Published: Thu, July 23 2015. 00:09 IST