Monsoon deficit down to 9%, more spells of rain likely: IMD
Widespread and heavy rains in July have reduced the monsoon rainfall deficit from 33% at the end of June to just 9% at the end of July, data from the India Meteorological Department (IMD) showed. IMD expects good rainfall in central and east India next week and believes this will further reduce the deficit.
“There is a low-pressure area forming over north Bay of Bengal around August 4. This system is likely to bring good rains to central and east India after August 4. We cannot tell if it will cover the deficit because that will depend on August rains,” said M Mohapatra, director general, IMD.
This year, according to IMD’s last monsoon update, India will have a near normal monsoon and get 96% of the Long Period Average (LPA) rainfall.
A pick-up in the monsoon in July has bridged the summer sowing deficit to 6.4% from a high of nearly 30% in June, the first month of the rainy season. Farmers have been able to sow, until July 27, a total area 68.8 million hectares, against last year’s 73.6 million hectares. Among major crops, planting of oilseeds, compared to the normal levels for this time of the year, are down 16%, while the area under pulses is short by 9.2%, according to agriculture ministry data. The rice area has taken a big hit, with the current acreage short by nearly 30%.
Before August 4, there is likely to be widespread rainfall over the western Himalayan region, Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi, and west Uttar Pradesh, IMD’s bulletin on Wednesday said.
There is still a 11% deficit in east and northeast India, 8% in northwest India, 19% in peninsular India and 5% in central India.
“Rainfall activity is likely to increase further over central parts of the country. Cumulatively, above normal rainfall likely over most parts of the country outside Jammu & Kashmir, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Kerala, South Interior Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Lakshadweep, where it is very likely to be below normal during August 1 to 7,” IMD’s outlook for the first week of August said.
Private forecaster Skymet Weather said the deficit was likely to stay. “In the first 10 days of August, we are expecting widespread rains over north and central India and subdued monsoon for a week thereafter. Peninsular India will be mostly dry,” said Mahesh Palawat, vice president, climate change and meteorology, Skymet Weather.