Even as the flood situation in Assam and Bihar continues to remain grim, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted heavy rainfall and thunder showers in several parts of Odisha and coastal Andhra Pradesh in the next 24 hours due to a low pressure area over the Bay of Bengal. “Heavy to very heavy rain is likely over Odisha, coastal Andhra Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, east Rajasthan, Vidarbha, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Gangetic West Bengal and Telangana,” the Met department said in its weather bulletin on Sunday.
Union home minister Rajnath Singh visited Assam on Sunday to take stock of the damage caused by floods, which have so far killed 26 people and impacted over 10 lakh people. Floods in Bihar have also killed 26 and displaced around 25 lakh. According to IMD, the quantum of rainfall during June 1-July 30 has been more than 445 mm which is on a par with the benchmark — Long Period Average (LPA). Till now, 30% of the country’s area has got ‘excess’ rainfall while 49% has received ‘normal’ rainfall. Only 21% of the areas has received deficient rainfall.
With the exception of Gujarat, Saurashtra and Kutch regions, and Bihar, where rainfall has been ‘deficient’, most of the regions across the country have so far received ‘normal’ or ‘excess’ monsoon rainfall in the country. IMD will come out with the third stage long range monsoon forecast on Monday. The forecast will indicate the quantum of monsoon rainfall expected during August and September.
After two successive years of deficient monsoon (2014 and 2015), IMD last month had reiterated its
April prediction by stating that southwest monsoon would be ‘above normal’ rainfall at 106% of the LPA. While June rainfall constitutes 18% of the total rainfall received during the monsoon period (June- September), the showers during July (33%) and August (29%) are critical for kharif crops sowing.
Till last week, the kharif crops sowing so far surpassed last year’s sowing by more than 6%. Besides a decline in cotton sowing, cultivation of most of the key kharif crops like rice, oilseeds and pulses have exceeded last year’s figure. Especially, pulses have been taken up in more than 41% more areas than the previous year.