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Fox News Weather Center

Outlook Grim for India Drought Areas With Monsoon to Withdraw Faster

The outlook is grim for the drought areas of India with the monsoon set to withdraw and give way to the dry season faster than normal.

The northern states (south of the Himalayas), the southwest coast and south-central India are currently enduring from a rainfall shortage of 20 to 60 percent below normal this summer, according to the India Meteorologist Department.

India has distinct wet and dry seasons and relies on the summer monsoon for crop growth and water supply before the drier winter months set in.

"Reports from the USDA indicate that the cotton crop is suffering due to the drought along the west coast and into Maharashtra state," said AccuWeather Meteorologist Anthony Sagliani.

The corridor from the states of Punjab to Bihar, which includes New Delhi, is also a primary crop area and in need of rain.

Unfortunately, AccuWeather meteorologists anticipate that the dry season will be starting sooner than normal.

"El Niño will only intensify through the coming month, causing more sinking air over India and southeastern Asia, in general," Sagliani continued. Sinking air suppresses rain and thunderstorms.

"That will lead to the monsoon withdrawing faster than normal," he added. The monsoon typically departs far northwestern India by mid-September and along a line from just north of Goa to eastern Uttar Pradesh.

Because of the early withdraw, Sagliani does not expect the rainfall deficit along the west coast and Maharashtra state to be erased.

Farther north toward New Delhi, the only chance of rainfall getting back to normal would have to come from a monsoon low coming from the east before the monsoon withdraws by mid-September.

Monsoon lows are the reason that the states of Rajasthan and western Madhya Pradesh are experiencing a rainfall surplus, explained Sagliani.

There are signs of a monsoon low taking shape in the Bay of Bengal toward the end of the weekend and tracking westward into central India through the end of the month.

Otherwise, thunderstorms will tend to be spotty across the nation with the best opportunity for the thunderstorm activity occurring in the mountains and along the southwest coast.