Monsoon will be below normal this year, says IMD

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New Delhi: Union Science and Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan on Wednesday said that the rainfall in the monsoon season from June to September is expected to be below normal.

India’s monsoon rains could be below average in 2015 due to an impact of El Nino weather pattern, which can bring on a dry spell in the region.

Rains are expected to be 93 percent of a long-term average, Earth Science Minister Harsh Vardhan said, after releasing the forecast of the India Meteorological Department.

IMD defines average, or normal, rainfall as between 96 percent and 104 percent of a 50-year average of 89 cm for the entire four-month season.

The latest forecast raises concerns for output prospects for major summer crops such as rice, cane, soybean and cotton in the country that is a key global producer of these farm commodities.

Monsoon rains in the country were hit by El Nino weather pattern in 2009, when the four-month long monsoon season turned the driest in nearly four decades.

Last year, monsoon was 1.9 per cent below the 50-year average, leading to a drought-like situation in several states including Telangana, Maharashtra, Punjab, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh.

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