Drought-fearing Jharkhand will mark the month gone by in red perhaps aptly blue on its calendar.
A series of depressions perked up a lazy monsoon in August, resulting in a rain spell that shrunk the deficit by total 12 notches in a fortnight.
Statistics reveal that the low-pressure trough, which hovered over the state in the third and fourth weeks, brought enough precipitation to make it the rainiest August in five years (see chart). The state received an average of 265.5mm rainfall last month. Last year, the August rain-o-meter had read 255.6mm.
The shower spell has been very impressive. Many districts like East Singhbhum, Latehar, Lohardaga and Sahebgunj recorded over 300mm in August. The favourable atmospheric systems helped bring down the deficit to 21 per cent from around 34-35 per cent, said B.N. Chaudhury, a senior weatherman at the Patna Meteorological Centre.
Data further suggest that the overall deficit took a nosedive in several districts, thanks to the August largesse.
East Singhbhum recorded 303.8mm, Lohardaga 317.4mm, Simdega 319.5mm and both Latehar and Sahebganj over 315mm. The rainfall was widespread and evenly distributed. Most districts reaped the benefit of the showers in August. It helped in farming activity, said T.N. Jha, a weather expert.
A few districts, including Ranchi, did not perform so well though. The local observatory in the state capital recorded 225mm in August.
But, all hope is not lost. Met officials are optimistic of another 200-250mm rain in September, which will help deficit districts get closer to normal and perhaps even achieve surplus rain. There are indications of heavy rainfall activity later this month. Usually, this is the time when low-pressure zones and depressions frequently form over the Bay of Bengal. If that happens, Jharkhand will be a big gainer, said a weather analyst in Patna.