India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Wednesday predicted heavy rainfall over sub-Himalayan West Bengal & Sikkim, Assam & Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh and many places over Bihar, Konkan & Goa, coastal Karnataka and eastern Uttar Pradesh during the next two days.
Rain or thundershowers would occur at a few places over east Madhya Pradesh, Vidarbha, Marathawada, central Maharashtra, Gujarat, north Andhra Pradesh, interior Karnataka and Lakshadweep, the IMD said.
The cumulative rainfall received between June 5 and July 17 across the country was 249 millimeters (mm) against a normal rainfall of 318 mm, a deficiency of 22%. Data from the met department show that only 1% of the country has received excess rainfall till now, while 40% of the country has received normal rainfall.
The worrying factor is that more than 53% of the country has received deficient rainfall, while 6% has got scanty rainfall.
Agriculture minister Sharad Pawar earlier this week has stated that the country could face challenges in maintaining record grain output this year due to erratic nature of monsoon. He said due to deficiency in rains, the country's rice production and the growth of the agricultural sector could be impacted.
Meanwhile, an agriculture ministry statement said that rice has been sown in 9.6 million hectare (mh) till now against 12 mh during the corresponding period of last year. Compared to last year, less area under cultivation is reported in almost all the states due to delayed monsoon. However, nursery preparation is in progress in almost all the states where has been rainfall received, the statement noted. With deficient rainfall in June, the IMD has recently marginally downgraded southwest monsoon forecast to 96% of the long period average (LPA) from its April prediction of 99% of the LPA.