India Meteorological Department on Monday said rainfall in August and September, the second half of the monsoon season, will be on the higher side. In August, however, rain is expected to be "normal to below normal over parts of northwest and central India", said IMD Director General Mrutunjay Mohapatra said.
Rain over the country during the southwest monsoon season "is most likely to be normal -- 95 percent to 105 percent of Long Period Average (LPA) -- with a tendency to be in the positive side of the normal", the IMD forecast stated.
The LPA is a mean of the rainfall recorded over a period of 50 years. It acts as a benchmark against which the annual rainfall is measured. If the rainfall is below 90 percent of the LPA, the country has received deficient rainfall. Similarly, when the rainfall is above 110 percent, the country is said to have received excess rainfall. Normal rainfall is when it falls between 96 percent and 104 percent of the LPA.
The southwest monsoon arrived in Kerala on June 3, two days behind its schedule. It then covered other parts of India by June 19. However, the monsoon stopped in its tracks across central India in the third week of June, resulting in a three-week delay in rain during the crucial sowing season.
Though some areas showed excess rainfall by the end of June, the break in the south-west monsoon in early June affected kharif sowing in many parts. Officials said that sowing in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Haryana, and Punjab was less than normal.
The Met department said the rainfall in July was below normal. According to news agency PTI, Mohapatra said the rainfall in July was -7 percent, which is around 93 percent of the LPA.
According to the IMD, 10 percent more rainfall than normal was recorded in June, but the country received 1 percent less rainfall than normal between June 1 and July 31.