Himachal sees 19% deficit monsoon rains

Shimla:The southwest monsoon remained 19 per cent deficit with no major rainfall reported in Himachal Pradesh in the past week, the meteorological office said on Sunday. Similar conditions would continue this week too, the official said. "The overall monsoon was below average in most parts of the state. The state recorded 19 per cent less than the normal rainfall," meteorological office Director Manmohan Singh told IANS. He said it has almost been a week with no major rainfall reported in the state. Similar conditions would continue the coming week too with chances of slight rains at isolated places. The cumulative rainfall in the state from June 1 to September 4 was 587.9 mm against the normal precipitation of 729.2 mm. Lahaul-Spiti district, known for producing the country's high variety, disease-free, pest-resistant Kufri Chandramukhi and Kufri Jyoti varieties of potatoes, recorded 76 per cent less than its normal rainfall, the highest in the state. The deficiency was 49 per cent in Kinnaur and Chamba districts, while it was 30 per cent in Sirmaur district and 11 per cent in Kangra district. Shimla district, which alone accounts for 80 per cent of the state's total apple production, experienced 16 per cent excess rain during this period. The weather bureau said the towns of Shimla, Narkanda, Kufri, Palampur, Dharamsala, Dalhousie, Chamba and Manali have recorded no rains since Saturday. The state capital recorded a minimum of 14.8 degrees Celsius, while it was 16.4 degrees in Dharamsala, 9.8 degrees in Kalpa in Kinnaur district and 10.2 degrees in Manali. IANS