Rainfall this year is 40 p.c. less than that of last year, say officials

Though the statistics prepared by the district administration on a daily basis suggest rainfall in the district has been less than that of the corresponding period last year, the India Meteorological Department believes that it is nearly normal.

While the district administration’s figures show that the rainfall this year has been 40 per cent lower than that of the corresponding period last year, the IMD says the rainfall is lower by 22 per cent – which is close to allowable deviation from the normal average. For the IMD, a deviation of plus or minus 19 per cent from the benchmark is normal. And IMD believes the rainfall will be within the allowable deviation range in the next couple of days.

Director-in-charge for the Bangalore-based IMD B. Puttanna told The Hindu that the average for the district from June 1 to 18 was 498.3 mm. The actual rainfall this year for Dakshina Kannada was 387.4 mm, which was 22 per cent less than the average normal rainfall. “Today or tomorrow it would be in the normal range,” he said and pointed out that the district was receiving very heavy rainfall – over 125 mm.

For the last one week, the district had received 4 per cent more than the average rainfall for the week (245 mm), he said.

On the other hand, the district administration puts the total rainfall received this year from January to June 18 at 492.2 mm while the figure for the corresponding period last year was 819.7 mm.

The rainfall has been 40 per cent less than that of the corresponding period last year.

The cumulative rainfall up to Monday this month was put at 379.1 mm as against last year’s 635.8 mm which was lower by 40 per cent.

While the IMD bases its analysis on statistics for 50 years to arrive at normal average for a given place and periodicity, there appears to be no such attempt on the part of the district administration. An official in-charge of the rainfall data collection in the office of the Deputy Commissioner here said the practice had been to compare figures for the previous year only.

He said records for several years and average for the district was available with the District Statistical Office (DSO). Assistant Director of DSO Pradeep D’Souza clarified that rainfall statistics were not analysed on a daily basis against averages.

The statistics were culled out only when required or asked by the office of the Deputy Commissioner or any other authority. Thus critical parameters for day-to-day analysis were not readily available. “We receive data every morning from the taluk offices and we just pass them on to the State headquarters,” Mr. D’Souza told The Hindu. The rainfall statistics are supplied to the Deputy Commissioner’s office from the taluk offices every morning. “We have rain gauges in each of the taluk office,” an official said.

IMD sources said they were getting daily rainfall recordings from Puttur, Mulki, Bantwal, Mani, Subramanaya, Uppinangadi, Bajpe, Panambur, Dharmasthala, and Sullia, and averages were taken from all these stations while arriving at benchmarks.

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