Weather experts at the India Meteorological Department have warned that rainfall could be below normal in some parts of Tamil Nadu and Kerala during the coming south west monsoon season.

They told The Hindu that rainfall could also be below par over some parts of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Punjab, and Jammu and Kashmir. However, the experts refused to elucidate on the extent of deficiency, both in terms of quantum and the geographical distribution, saying it was too early to make such predictions. “ There is still more than a month to go for the season to set in. Right now, we can only say there could be some deficiency. We would have to wait and watch for the signals to become clear.”

A conference of weather experts from South Asian countries held at Kathmandu last week had first flagged the possibility of such a deficiency. A consensus statement issued at the end of the two-day meet was more general. It predicted rainfall could be below normal over some areas of north-western and southern parts of South Asia. “Rainfall for South Asia and the season as a whole is most likely to be within the normal range, with a slight tendency towards the higher side of the normal range.”

In terms of spatial distribution of rainfall, some areas of north-western and southern South Asia may experience below normal rainfall, while some areas along the Himalayan region may receive above normal rainfall.