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    Potential for Below-Normal Monsoon and Drought in India

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    Skymet Weather, a private forecasting agency, has predicted that India may experience below-normal monsoon rainfall this year, with a 20% chance of drought due to the end of La Nina conditions and the potential for El Nino to take hold. This forecast comes as a concern for the agricultural sector, which heavily relies on monsoon rains for crop production. Skymet expects the monsoon rainfall to be around 94% of the long-period average (LPA) of 868.6 mm for the four-month period from June to September. The northern and central parts of the country may see a rain deficit, with Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra expected to witness inadequate rains during the core monsoon months of July and August. Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh are likely to observe less-than-normal rains during the second half of the season. Skymet also noted that the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) could steer monsoon and negate the ill-effects of El Nino when sufficiently strong. Currently, the IOD is neutral and is expected to turn moderately positive at the start of monsoon.

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    Rajesh M
    Rajesh M
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