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regular-article-logo Thursday, 18 July 2024

India will get ‘below normal’ rainfall during June, says IMD in updated forecast

'The average June rainfall for the country as a whole is most likely to be below normal, less than 92 per cent of the long period average'

G.S. Mudur New Delhi Published 20.06.24, 06:00 AM
Pre-monsoon showers in Amritsar on Wednesday.

Pre-monsoon showers in Amritsar on Wednesday. PTI picture

India will get “below normal” rainfall during June, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has said in an updated forecast released after it documented 20 per cent deficit rainfall between June 1 and June 18.

“The average June rainfall for the country as a whole is most likely to be below normal, less than 92 per cent of the long period average,” the IMD said in a downward revised forecast released on June 18. The IMD had on May 27 predicted “normal rainfall” — 92 per cent to 108 per cent of the long period average — during June.

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Weather scientists say the June deficit has no bearing on the overall monsoon performance during the four-month season. Bountiful rainfall over the next three months could compensate for the June deficit, resulting in normal or above normal rainfall for the full season, scientists said.

The IMD had last month predicted that India as a whole this year, as well as the country’s so-called “monsoon core zone” that makes up most of the country’s rainfed agriculture areas, will receive “above normal” rainfall, or 106 per cent of the long period average.

The summer monsoon, which accounts for 75 per cent of India’s annual rainfall, is crucial for crops, the economy and water resources. Rice, maize, millets, oilseeds, pulses, sugarcane and cotton are among the major crops sown through the season.

Crop weather specialists say the amount and geographic distribution of the rainfall during July and August are critical to agriculture and far more relevant to farm operations than the June rainfall.

The IMD plans to release its rainfall forecast for July at the end of this month.

The monsoon, after advancing over the Nicobar Islands on May 19 and Kerala and the northeastern states on May 30, moved northward and had by June 12 covered Kerala, Karnataka, Goa, Telangana, most parts of southern Maharashtra, and parts of Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Bengal.

Its progress has stalled since June 12 but the IMD said on Tuesday that “conditions are favourable” for further advance of the monsoon into more parts of Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Odisha and coastal Andhra Pradesh and parts of Gangetic Bengal, Bihar and Jharkhand over the next two or three days.

Since June 1, 11 of the country’s 36 meteorological subdivisions have received normal to large excess rainfall while 25 subdivisions have had deficient to large deficient rainfall, the IMD said on Tuesday.

Gangetic Bengal, Bihar, eastern Uttar Pradesh, western Uttar Pradesh, eastern Rajasthan and western Rajasthan, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi and Punjab are among subdivisions with exceptionally large rainfall deficits —ranging from 70 per cent up to 90 per cent.

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