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Monsoon covers half of India; enters weak phase

South-west monsoon has slipped into a weak phase and is unlikely to make any major progress over the next week keeping most of northwest India, including Delhi, dry barring some isolated thunderstorm activity. See pics

delhi Updated: Jun 18, 2010 20:23 IST

South-west monsoon has slipped into a weak phase and is unlikely to make any major progress over the next week keeping most of northwest India, including Delhi, dry barring some isolated thunderstorm activity.

However, this past week saw widespread rains over the southern peninsula as monsoon made a staggered move covering half of the Indian landmass and running three days behind schedule.

The annual seasonal rains ought to have reached Lucknow today but in absence of a strong monsoon pulse they have been lingering over central India for the past couple of days.

"A temporary weakening of the monsoon current is likely during the week with subdued rainfall activity over most parts of country except along the west coast (Konkan, Goa, coastal Karnataka) and over northeastern states," the weather office said adding that no major advance would occur over eastern and central India during next one week.

The widespread rains in peninsular and parts of central India helped bridge the seasonal rain deficit from 7 per cent last week to 3 per cent week ending June 17.

Rains were deficient between June 1 and June 16 as cyclone Phet over the Arabian Sea slowed the initial progress of the monsoon, which had hit Kerala on May 31, a day ahead of the normal arrival date.

As of June 18, the country as a whole has received 97 per cent of normal rainfall and parts of central and north-eastern India have been getting good showers, D Sivananda Pai, Director, National Climate Centre, Pune, said.

The seasonal rains on Friday reached parts of Jharkhand and Bihar but a rapid advance over northwest-India and parts of Uttar Pradesh could be expected only next week.

There is a lag in monsoon, said Pai, who is also the chief monsoon forecaster.

"Strengthening of monsoon flow and its sustenance is expected from June 25 onwards," the weather office said.

Following this, East and Central India could experience increase in rainfall activity.

The country as a whole has received 71.6 mm rainfall between June 1-17 as against 34.5 mm during June 1-10.

Making significant gains in the week, Central India has received 42.7 mm rains in June 10-17 as against a meagre 13.4 mm between June 1-10.

Pai was confident that rains would pick up momentum once the monsoon currents get strengthened. He said he expected signs of strengthening to be visible in the next three days.

"Once the current develops, rains would make advance in the northwestern regions as well," Pai said.

A good monsoon, after last year's driest season in 37 years, would help the UPA government to tame high inflation, that surged to 10.16 per cent in May.

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