Two months into the progress of south-west monsoon season (June-September), the rains so far with the exception of few pockets of southern India have been well distributed and as per the earlier forecast of the India Meteorological Department (IMD). This has given boost to kharif sowing activities and water level at key reservoirs. According to IMD, the cumulative rainfall received till Sunday across the country has been 102% of the benchmark long period average (LPA). Rainfall in a range of 96-104% of LPA is treated as ‘normal’. LPA rainfall is pegged at 89 cm, on the basis of average between 1951-2000.. Last month, the met department has predicted that monsoon seasonal rainfall for the country as a whole is likely to be 98% of the (LPA) with a model error of ±4%. It had predicted in July, which has 33% share in overall monsoon rains would be 96% of its LPA. “With the exception of South-Interior Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu, the rainfall so far has been well distributed,” an official with IMD said. Meanwhile as per the IMD forecast, during August 1 – 10, rainfall activity is likely to ‘above normal’ over northeastern states and south Peninsular and ‘below normal’ over remaining parts of the country.
Overall rainfall activity is likely to be ‘below normal’ over India as a whole during the week. For the month of August, which has share of 29% in overll monsoon rains, the met department has stated that shower will be 99% of LPA. So far the northwest India has received ‘above normal’ rainfall (118%) and central India is at 110% of LPA. In case of southern peninsula, the rainfall so far has been 83% of LPA (deficient) while in east & northeast region, there has been ‘below normal’ rainfall (93% of LPA). Especially the rainfall has been ‘deficient’ in south interior Karnataka (67% of LPA), Kerala (70% of LPA) and Tamil Nadu (74% of LPA). Till Sunday, out of the 36 subdivision in the country, six have received ‘excess’ rainfall while 23 got ‘normal’ rains so far. Only seven have received ‘deficient’ rains. In terms of area, 29% of the country fall in ‘excess’ rainfall zone, 55% has received ‘normal’ monsoon this year while 16% fall in ‘deficient’ rains zone.
Thanks to the normal monsoon rains the sowing of kharif crops — rice, pulses, coarse cereals, sugarcane and cotton is progressing well. Areas sown of key crops, except oilseeds, have been higher than the level at the same time last year, with the overall sowing 3% higher. Till now, 75% of the sowing is done and it would continue till middle of next month. Because of normal rainfall last year, the country’s food grains production in 2016-17 crop year (July-June) is estimated to reach an all-time record of 273.38 million tonne (MT), which is 8.7% more than the previous year. Due to two consecutive years of deficient monsoons (2014 & 2015), the foodgrains production went down to 252 MT in 2014-15 and 2015-16 crop years from 265 MT reported in 2013-14.
Monsoon continues to be at ‘normal’ level (Deviation (%) from the benchmark long-period average* for June 1- July 30,2017)
East/Northeast: – 7
North West: 18
Central India: 10
South Peninsula: – 17
Country as a whole: 2
Source: IMD; *LPA is 89 cm; rainfall of 96-104% of LPA is considered “normal”