September 24, 2018 / 9:03 AM / in a month

India monsoon rains to start withdrawing from Saturday - weather office

MUMBAI, Sept 24 (Reuters) - 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.

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.

The country has so far received 9 percent lower rainfall than normal in the current monsoon season. (Reporting by Rajendra Jadhav; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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