Despite the country receiving 4% less rainfall in the last one week, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) continues to hold on to its prediction last month that the southwest monsoon would be ‘above normal’ at 106% of the benchmark Long Period Average (LPA).
According to an IMD official, although so far the cumulative rainfall received since the onset of monsoon in June has been 1% more than LPA, the rainfall activities are likely to revive in the early part of August.
The Met department on Thursday predicted ‘normal’ to ‘above normal’ rainfall activity over parts of central and northwest India in the next one week.
“While ‘above normal’ rainfall activity likely over peninsular India till July end and near normal thereafter. Below normal rainfall likely over east India during the first week of August,” the IMD stated. The Met department is expected to release its second half (August and September) forecast for 2016 monsoon season in the next couple of days.
Meanwhile, according to data released by Central Water Commission (CWC), the water level at 91 large reservoirs across the country continues to rise for third week in a row to 38% of their combined capacity. However, CWC said in a statement that the overall storage position is less than the corresponding period of last year in the country as a whole and is also less than the average storage of last ten years during the corresponding period.
The agriculture ministry would be releasing the extent of kharif crops — paddy, pulses, oilseeds, cotton and sugarcane — sowing data on Friday. Till last week, the kharif crops sowing had surpassed last year’s sowing by more than 3%. The kharif crops have been sown in more than 692 lakh hectare so far.
According to IMD, the quantum of rainfall during June 1-July 28 has been more than 429 milimeters (mm) which is 1% more than the LPA. Till now, 30% of the country’s area has got ‘excess’ rainfall while 50% have received ‘normal’ rainfall. Only 20% of the areas have received deficient rainfall.
With the exception of Saurashtra, Kutch, Gujarat regions and Bihar where rainfall has been ‘deficient’, most of the regions across the country has so far received ‘normal’ or ‘excess’ monsoon rainfall in the country.
While June rainfall constitute 18% of the total rainfall received during monsoon period (June- September), the showers during July (33%) and August (29%) are critical for kharif crops sowing. IMD categories monsoon rains under four categories — <90% of benchmark (deficient), 90-96% (below normal), 96-104% (normal) and 104-110% (above normal) and 110%> (excess).