The quantitative rainfall over the country as a whole is estimated to be 96 per cent of the Long Period Average (LPA), according to Director-General of India Meteorological Department L.S. Rathore.

The Director-General of Meteorology, who was on a visit to the city, held a review meeting with officials and staff of the Cyclone Warning Centre (CWC) here on Friday.

Speaking to the media on the occasion, Mr. Rathore said that the June, July (mid-season) rainfall was good and there was no deficiency. He said that the monsoon was going to be normal during the second half of the season (August, September) this year, except in eastern India, where it would be deficient.

Jharkhand and Bihar had recorded deficient rainfall of (-) 30 per cent and the North Eastern States had recorded (-) 40 per cent. He said that it was the rice transplanting season in Jharkhand and lack of rain was a major cause for concern. Sowing of kharif crop was dependent on the monsoon and good rains were crucial for the country’s agriculture. He, however, said that on the whole a bumper crop was expected this year.

Future strategies

Referring to the future strategies of the department, Mr. Rathore said the IMD was contemplating developing block-level forecasts in place of district-level predictions during the 12 Plan period.

“The high-precision meteorological observation systems have been acquired during the last few years for prediction of cyclones.

This has reduced the errors in prediction of the place of landfall and helped in saving men and material. The mechanisms for dissemination of information has also improved substantially,” he said, and added that the focus would be more on remote sensing in the future.

Deputy Director-General of Meteorology, Regional Meteorological Centre (Chennai), YEA Raj, a retired Deputy Director-General B. Lakshmana Swamy, and Director of the CWC (Visakhapatnam) K. Ramachandra Rao were present.

Replying to a query, Mr. Rathore said there had never been a proposal to shift the CWC out of Visakhapatnam. He said that Secretary in the Ministry of Earth Sciences Shailesh Nayak was “misquoted” on the issue.

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