"A slow monsoon progress delayed the arrival of southwest monsoon in Delhi and north India, making the month of June, one of the driest in a decade in the country. But July has some good news in store as monsoon is expected to reach Delhi, Punjab, Haryana and west Uttar Pradesh by the end of this week," Skymet, a private forecasting agency said.
    
Monsoon was to hit the national capital by June 29, but has been delayed by a week. However, Delhi and parts of northern India might see rain spells and cloudy skies because of the trough extending along the foothills of Himalayas.
    
"Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, parts of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar may continue to get rain during 24 hours. Rain in Delhi and Punjab could pick up from 5th July when we are expecting monsoon to make an entry," the agency said.
    
The Indian Meteorological Department also said that heavy to very heavy rainfall would occur at isolated places over sub-¬Himalayan West Bengal and Sikkim and places over Gangetic West Bengal, Odisha, Bihar, Jharkhand and Assam and Meghalaya.
    
The IMD added that conditions are becoming favourable for further advance of southwest monsoon into some more parts of Uttar Pradesh and some parts of Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab and Haryana during next 3¬4 days. However, it cautioned that parts of north India may experience heat wave.
    
"Heat wave conditions would prevail at isolated places over Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and north Madhya Pradesh, but by Tuesday, such conditions could be seen in Rajasthan, giving some relief to other states," the Met department said.

June monsoon rainfall weakest in five years

The monsoon rainfall was 43 percent below average in June, the weakest first month of the season in five years, the weather office said.

Rains were 34 percent above average a year earlier, as the monsoon arrived on the normal date of June 1 and covered half the country by mid-June, two days ahead of schedule.

"We expect the monsoon to recover in next three to four days as signs of revival are visible over the Bay of Bengal," said BP Yadav, head of the National Weather Forecasting Centre at the India Meteorological Department.

He said a deficiency in the first month does not mean that the four-month-long rainy season would be a failure.

In 1926, the monsoon recorded its worst first-month shortfall at 48 percent below average in June, but the season ended at seven percent above average, due to a late revival.

This year, the monsoon covered half of the country four days behind schedule following a late onset over the southern Kerala coast.

The progress of the monsoon towards the grain bowl belt of northwest India is late by up to ten days.

In 2009, the June-September monsoon season was the driest in 37 years with the first month posting a 47 percent below-average rainfall.

JPN/Agencies

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