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Monsoon alert: Gaping rain deficits observed in several states after phase one

The current break in the monsoon has resulted in gaping rainfall deficits in several regions across the country. After the first phase of monsoon, several states like Punjab, Haryana, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Goa etc have received deficit rainfall.

According to a report in The Times of India, as many as 19 of the 36 districts of Maharashtra have reported deficient rainfall from 1 June to 7 August. In some districts, the deficiency runs from 100mm to over 400mm for the season.

Monsoon. Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

The report takes the example of Mumbai, where the actual rainfall from 1 June until 8 August has been close to 1,117mm as against the normal quota of 1,413 mm — a deficit of about 295.6 mm.

Similarly, as many as 13 districts in Haryana and 11 in Punjab are still dry this monsoon season, as per The Indian Express.

According to the report, till 30 July, Punjab received 200.3 mm rain against the required normal 223.3 mm, while Haryana got 183.9 mm against normal 203.4mm. Met department records showed that in Punjab's 20 'Met districts', 11 districts are under deficit rain circle.

In Goa, the deficit camouflaged throughout the season within the 19 percent normal mark had touched the 21 percent mark by 3 August, as per the India meteorological department (IMD) Goa.

Meanwhile, a severe deficit in rainfall in the Cauvery catchment areas of Karnataka could lead to another crisis year for farmers in the state and the adjoining Tamil Nadu, as per a report in The Hindu.

According to the report, at a deficit of 34 percent, Indian Meteorological Department data shows that the south interior Karnataka region, which encompasses the Cauvery catchment, is currently witnessing the worst monsoon in the country.

The report quotes experts saying that ‘the same conditions which saw record rainfall in Gujarat and Rajasthan in July has caused the Cauvery deficit’. Off-shore troughs or depressions (areas of low pressure) in the southern Arabian Sea or the southern Bay of Bengal allow for the accumulation of south-west monsoon clouds in south India.

Weekly rainfall scenario (27 July to 2 August). Source: IMD

Weekly rainfall scenario (27 July to 2 August). Source: IMD

In Tamil Nadu, the shortfall was 20 percent while in Kerala, it was recorded at 30 percent, as of 5 August.

Rajasthan, however, has received excess rainfall this monsoon season — 26 percent higher than normal.

According to NDTV, of the total 33 districts in the state, eight received abnormal rains, seven recorded excess and as many normal while 11 districts recorded deficit rainfall.

The monsoon season is crucial for India as nearly 54 percent of the crop area lacks assured irrigation and more than 70 percent of the annual rainfall is concentrated between June and September. A deficit often leads to failed or reduced crop production that can have a drastic effect on the agrarian sector.

Updated Date: Aug 08, 2017 11:19 AM

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