15 pc less rains expected this season

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NEW DELHI,  Aug 3 (Agencies): India’s crucial monsoon is expected to be 15 per cent deficient this season, the weather office said on Friday, the first indication of a drought in three years.

The country has received 20 per cent less rains than normal since the delayed onset of monsoon in June. Till Thursday, the country had received 378.8 mm rainfall against the normal of 471.4 mm. “We expect monsoon to be 15 per cent deficient than the long period average (LPA) which is 89 cm,” Laxman Singh Rathore, Director General, India Meteorological Department (IMD), told reporters in New Delhi.

A country-wide drought is declared when the monsoon rains are less than 90 per cent of the LPA and at least 20 per cent area of the country experiences deficient showers of 25 per cent or more.

On the impact of failed monsoon on agriculture, Mr. Rathore said that paddy cultivation would not be affected but conditions were worrisome for production of coarse cereals.

There is more bad news on the monsoon front. The India Meteorological Department has forecast that rainfall during the second half of the season is also likely to be below par. As a result the season could end up with a deficiency of more than 10 per cent.

In a press release on Thursday, the IMD said rainfall over the country during August-September was likely to be below normal, at just 91 per cent of the Long Period Average (LPA) with a model error of plus or minus 8 per cent.

“Based on the rainfall distribution over the country till date and the outlook for the second half of the season, the rainfall in the entire southwest monsoon season

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