Officials in the weather department said the monsoon is expected to be below normal because of the El-Nino effect, which is generally associated with the warming of ocean water.
    
"The monsoon seasonal rainfall is likely to be 95 percent of the Long Period average with an error of plus or minus 5 percent," the Meterological Department said in a statement here.
    
The rainfall between 90-96 percent is catergorised as below normal and rainfall between 96-104 per cent is termed as normal rainfall.
     
The forecast for 2014 comes after the country witnessed four straight years of normal monsoon and bumper harvest.
    
Last year, the Met department had forecast 98 percent rainfall but it exceeded and the country received over 106 per cent rainfall.
     
Monsoon is crucial for agriculture, particularly the kharif crops such as rice, soyabean, cotton and maize because almost 60 percent of the farm land in the country is rainfed.
    
"Latest forecast from a majority of the models also indicate warming trend in the sea surface temperature over the equatorial Pacific reaching to El-Nino level during the
South-west monsoon with a probability of around 60 percent," the IMD said.
    
With the Model Code of Conduct in place, the MET department did not hold the customary press conference, but instead posted the monsoon-related information on its website.

(Agencies)

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