India's June-September monsoon rains are likely to start withdrawing from the northwest from Saturday, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Monday.
The monsoon usually starts withdrawing in the first week of September, but this year it has been delayed by nearly four weeks.
A change in the wind pattern is likely over west Rajasthan from Thursday and monsoon withdrawal could start from Saturday, IMD said in a statement.
“Prevalence of dry weather is likely over west Rajasthan from tomorrow. Reduction in the moisture associated with the monsoon flow and a changeover in the lowlevel wind pattern are also likely over this region from 27 September,” IMD said in a weather forecast on Monday.
With all four months of the season consistently registering a shortfall in normal rains, countrywide rainfall since June 1 remains 9% below normal. The rainfall figures have been weighed down by below normal rains in the east and northeast region, where rainfall since the beginning of the season remained 24% short of the normal levels as on Monday.
The monsoon, which delivers 70 percent of India's annual rainfall, is critical for 263 million farmers and their rice, sugarcane, corn, cotton and soybean crops because nearly half of the country's farmland lacks irrigation.