July 11, 2008

India's monsoon rain 20 percent below normal for the past week 


India's monsoon rain was subdued in the week ended July 9, according to data released by the India Meteorological Department.


Rain during the week ended July 9 was 20 percent below normal levels. Of the 36 meteorological subdivisions in India, 23 got normal rain, while 13 saw deficient rain.


However, the total rain in the monsoon season, which began June 1, is still above normal levels, with the June 1-July 9 rainfall 10 percent above normal.


Rain has been particularly deficient in southern India, hampering the sowing of crops; the forecast for the next 5-6 days indicates rainfall activity will remain subdued in the south.


The IMD also said rain will be subdued in the next 5-6 days in central India, while the northern plains and northeastern India will see widespread rainfall.


India's June-September monsoon rains are critical for the development of the country's summer-sown crops. Most of the sowing is likely to be completed this month, so adequate rain in July is especially important for a bumper harvest.


The federal government is banking on a bumper harvest in fall to cool down India's double-digit inflation.

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