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India Monsoon to Lessen; Drier Weather to Take Hold by July

While the threat of flooding downpours will expand into northern India through Thursday, a drier weather pattern that is heightening fears of an eventual summer drought will unfold by July.

The monsoon had a positive start this June with substantial rain falling from India's southwest coast to its northeastern corner.

Mumbai has been inundated with nearly 899 mm (35.38 inches) of rain from June 11 to June 23. That is 153 percent above normal for all of June. Daily rainfall totals on six of those days exceeded 100 mm (4 inches).

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The city of Rajkot picked up 163 mm (6.42 inches) of rain in the 24 hours ending early Wednesday morning, local time, as a tropical low crawled through India's Gujarat state.

This tropical low will continue to press northeastward through Thursday night, producing downpours from eastern Gujarat to eastern Rajasthan, northwestern Madhya Pradesh to Uttarakhand. The downpours will graze New Delhi.

Rainfall will generally be on the order of 50 to 100 mm (2 to 4 inches). While flash flooding is a concern from the heaviest downpours, the rainfall will otherwise be beneficial and will help ease the heat that has been recently plaguing the area.

Temperatures on Thursday will be held about 8 degrees Celsius (15 degrees Fahrenheit) in New Delhi with the showers, thunderstorms and accompanying clouds around.

Relief from the heat, however, will not last long with signs of the monsoon lessening as June transitions to July.

"The pulse that helped activate the monsoon will move into the western Pacific Ocean, leading to a quieter phase of the monsoon by this weekend," stated AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Jason Nicholls. "This quiet phase will carry into at least the middle of July as the effects from El Niño take hold."

"July will end up being below normal across India, except along the southwestern and northeastern coasts," Nicholls added.

For the northeastern corner of India, a monsoon low may delay the onset of the drier weather until after the end of June. After threatening to unleash 75 to 150 mm (3 to 6 inches) of rain along parts of the coast of Myanmar and Bangladesh daily through this Friday, the monsoon low will track westward across northeastern India this weekend through early next week.

Showers and thunderstorms from this low will be most numerous in northeastern India. As has been the case, the rainfall will be double-edged with flash flooding a concern and the rainfall welcome with the impending drier July set to unfold.

"The low should not get farther west than Madhya Pradesh and will weaken as it comes westward," continued Nicholls.

As the monsoonal rain diminishes, temperatures will then once again be on the rise across the nation. The heat wave that preceded the monsoon killed more than 2,300 people across India in May.

Heat combined with a lack of monsoon rain threatens to cause significant drought and devastating impacts on agriculture, which the AccuWeather Asia Summer Forecast feared would evolve this summer.