The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) on Friday shot down growing rumours of poor winter rains, crucial for India’s rabi or winter-sown crops, fuelling hopes of a possible farm upturn in the next crop cycle.
Weather watchers, mostly outside India, have been speculating that El-Nino conditions, a weather anomaly currently developing in equatorial Pacific Ocean, could weaken October-December rains in India.
Such a possibility only worsened weather worries of a government already fretting over a patchy monsoon that caused drought or drought-like conditions in 177 districts and shrunk total area under summer paddy by 57 lakh hectares.
“Summer rains and winter rains as well as El-Nino and winter rains have no correlation. There is nothing to suggest that we are heading for poor rabi rains,” IMD chief Ajit Tyagi told Hindustan Times.
Tyagi, however, said deficient soil moisture due to a current low monsoon may have some affect on rabi.