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Less than normal rains in over 70% of country- 27-6-2012

NEW DELHI: Almost 70% of the country has got less than normal rains so far in the season, data released by the Indian Meteorological Department showed. A third of the country has seen deficient rainfall for the period while another third witnessed almost no or scanty rains.

IMD defines "deficiency" as 20-60% less rains than normal while a drop of more than 60% is defined as "scanty".

The weather department predicted that the rains would pick up in the beginning of July, the first signs of which were visible in the southern region getting marginally more rains than in the previous week.

The delay in the northward movement of monsoon suggested that Delhi and other states in the northwest may not see rain clouds before the month-end. June 29 is considered the normal date of arrival of monsoon in Delhi.

The delay in monsoon onset over Kerala has set back expectations all over the country and the monsoon system was seen to remain weak all through June as well, showing a considerable delay in its upward surge. Kerala enjoyed the first monsoon showers on June 5 and not June 1 which is considered the normal date of arrival.

The weather department marginally downgraded its prediction for the country-wide average annual rainfall, bringing it down from 99% of the long term average to 96% -- still within the range that it defines as 'normal' but all eyes would now be out for the predicted map for the spread of monsoon.

IMD releases a second comprehensive prediction in end June that breaks down the expected rainfall in different regions of the country and this is usually more carefully watched by all. Even in previous so-called 'normal' years, several parts of the country have either suffered drought like conditions or floods. Therefore, an overall average rainfall prediction is not considered valuable unless it forewarns of an exceptionally bad or good rainfall.

Only about a third of the country has so far got normal rains with just the Himalayan state of Sikkim receiving more than usual rainfall.
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