Riding on surplus August rains, the south-west monsoon for the first time touched the near normal level with the rainfall deficit narrowing down to 9 per cent of the seasonal average.
The month of August saw the country receive 264.7 mm rainfall as against the normal of 261 mm, showing an excess of about 1 per cent.
The remarkable August rainfall rally saw 26 of the 36 meteorological sub-divisions get excess or normal monsoon. Rains were deficient in nine sub-divisions and scanty in one - Saurashtra and Kutch region.
In June, the country received 31 per cent deficient rains than normal while July saw a monsoon deficiency of 13 per cent, which had prompted the government to roll out a slew of measures to tackle the then impending drought-like situation.
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Till Saturday, as much as 68 per cent of the country has received normal or excess rain this season, while the rest have had deficient rainfall, India Meteorological Department (IMD) data showed.
Saurashtra and Kutch, Punjab, Gujarat, Haryana, west Uttar Pradesh, Marathwada and Bihar are the regions worst hit by deficient rains. The deficiency in these regions range from 60 per cent to 28 per cent.
Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura have also received 33 per cent deficient rainfall since the delayed onset of monsoon this season.
The weather office said monsoon was vigorous over west Rajasthan, Saurashtra and Kutch and active over Andaman and Nicobar, Himachal Pradesh, east Rajasthan, Gujarat region and coastal Karnataka during the 24 hours ending Saturday morning.