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Monsoon seen below average in 2015: Meteorological Department

Rains are expected to be 93 per cent of a long-term average, earth science minister Harsh Vardhan said, after releasing the forecast of the India Meteorological Department (IMD).

Mayank Bhardwaj        Last Updated: May 18, 2015  | 17:34 IST

Monsoon rains could be below average in 2015 due to an impact of El Nino weather pattern, which can bring on a dry spell in the region, the weather office said on Wednesday.

Rains are expected to be 93 per cent of a long-term average, earth science minister Harsh Vardhan said, after releasing the forecast of the India Meteorological Department (IMD).

IMD defines average, or normal, rainfall as between 96 per cent and 104 per cent of a 50-year average of 89 cm for the entire four-month season.

The latest forecast raises concerns for output prospects for major summer crops such as rice, cane, soybean and cotton in the country that is a key global producer of these farm commodities.

Monsoon rains were hit by El Nino weather pattern in 2009, when the four-month long monsoon season turned the driest in nearly four decades.

(Reuters)

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