Southwest monsoon season could end up with a deficiency of 15 per cent

There is more bad news on the monsoon front. The India Meteorological Department has forecast that rainfall during the second half of the season is also likely to be below par. As a result the season could end up with a deficiency of more than 10 per cent.

In a press release on Thursday, the IMD said rainfall over the country during August-September was likely to be below normal, at just 91 per cent of the Long Period Average (LPA) with a model error of plus or minus 8 per cent.

“Based on the rainfall distribution over the country till date and the outlook for the second half of the season, the rainfall in the entire southwest monsoon season [June-September] is likely to be deficient [less than 90 per cent of LPA].”

Considering that the cumulative rainfall at the end of the first half of the season (July 31) was 13 per cent below normal, the forecast of 9 per cent deficiency during the second half meant that the season could end up with an overall deficiency of 15 per cent, said scientists at the IMD.

As of Wednesday, 56 per cent of the total geographical area of the country continued to have deficient rainfall, with 12 per cent facing a deficiency of over 60 per cent.

No possibility of improvement

Later speaking to The Hindu, IMD Director-General L.S. Rathore said that going forward, there did not appear to be any possibility of major improvements in the northwest and interior parts of the south peninsular region, which were facing significant deficits.

“North and south interior Karnataka, Gujarat, Haryana, Punjab, Delhi, Madhya Maharashtra, west Rajasthan and Marathwada are likely to remain areas of concern,” he said.

As of Wednesday, south interior Karnataka had a rainfall deficiency of 46 per cent, north interior Karnataka 35 per cent, Gujarat 35 per cent, Punjab 66 per cent, the Haryana-Chandigarh-Delhi region 71 per cent, Marathwada 31 per cent and central Maharashtra 26 per cent. Within Gujarat, the Saurashtra-Kutch region had a whopping deficiency of 79 per cent.

In the first long range forecast issued in April, the IMD predicted a rainfall of 99 per cent plus or minus five per cent for the country as a whole and the season in its entirety. It scaled it down to 96 per cent plus or minus four per cent in the second revised forecast issued in June. Now, the prediction is for a rainfall of 85 per cent.