Country faces rain deficit of 16% at the end of June
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Thursday forecast that there could be some improvement in the monsoon situation over north India next week.
According to the latest bulletin, fairly widespread rain or thundershowers could occur over Jharkhand, and Chhattisgarh, scattered rainfall over Bihar, east Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, and Jammu and Kashmir and isolated rain or thundershowers over Delhi, Chandigarh, Haryana, Punjab, west Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Gujarat during the next three days.
The bulletin also forecast that maximum temperatures over the plains of northwest India and adjoining central India could fall by two to four per cent during the next two days. The IMD further announced that the northern limit of the monsoon, which had been remaining stationary since June 18, moved slightly northwards in north Madhya Pradesh covering Bhopal and its neighbourhood.
It is expected to further advance into some more parts of Madhya Pradesh, and some parts of Uttar Pradesh, besides Chhattisgarh and the remaining parts of Bihar during the next two to three days.
At the end of the first month of the four-month South-West Monsoon season on Wednesday, the country was faced with a rainfall deficiency of 16 per cent of the long period average for the month.
The situation was the worst in the central and the north-west parts of the country, with deficiencies of 26 per cent and 18 per cent.
Uttar Pradesh had the maximum shortfall, with the western part of the State recording a deficiency of 82 per cent and the eastern part 72 per cent.
It was followed by east Madhya Pradesh, east Rajasthan and Delhi-Haryana-Chandigarh with deficiencies of 61 per cent, 56 per cent and 53 per cent respectively.
The situation remained grim in Chhattisgarh, west Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Jharkhand also, with the regions recording deficiencies of 52 per cent, 50 per cent, 49 per cent and 45 per cent respectively.
Under these circumstances, it remains to be seen how far IMD's recently issued long range forecast of 102 per cent of the long period average for the season as a whole and the country in its entirety comes true.
Senior meteorologists sought to assure that there was still no cause for any alarm on the ground that rainfall during June contributed only 18 per cent of the total during the season.
Pointing out that rainfall during July and August are more important as they contribute 33 per cent and 29 per cent to the total seasonal rain, they noted that one could also not ignore the rainfall during September as they account for the balance 20 per cent.
In this regard, they pointed out that models across the world have forecast that there was a high probability for a La Nina phenomenon to develop in the coming months resulting in increasing rainfall over India as the season progressed.