Forecast rosy; Maharashtra, Ktaka yet to receive their rainfall quota

Written by ASHOK B SHARMA | New Delhi, Aug 10 | Updated: Aug 11 2008, 07:03am hrs
The official weather forecasting agency, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has said that Orissa, coastal and northern Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and eastern Madhya Pradesh would receive good rainfall in this week. This is due to the low pressure area formed on August 8 over northwest and adjoining west-central Bay of Bengal, off the coasts of Orissa and West Bengal. Subsequently, the rainfall belt is likely to shift to Maharashtra and Gujarat. "The off shore trough from Maharashtra coast to Kerala coast persists. It is likely to cause fairly widespread rainfall activity along the west coast", IMD said

Based on numerical weather products, IMD has also said that till August 13 there would be enhanced rainfall over coastal Karnataka, Konkan and Goa, Madhya Maharashtra, Marathawada and Gujarat Rainfall over northeastern and northwest India would be scattered and would subsequently decrease.

However, the US-based Center for Ocean Land Atmosphere Studies (COLA), in its forecast, does not indicate any such decrease in rainfall over both the northeastern and northwestern regions of the country, except the region bordering Pakistan and parts of Kashmir, till August 16. According to COLA, the entire northern half of the country, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh and the west coast would receive rainfall amounting to 200 mm. Heavy rainfall would continue over Bihar, Jharkhand and northeastern India till August 25.

It is pertinent to note that July rainfall in the first half had been very disappointing in the southern half of the country. The situation began gradually improving in the second half of the month. But the average cumulative rainfall over Madhya Maharashtra, Marathwada, north interior Karnataka, coastal Karnataka and Kerala is still deficient. Northeastern India, with the exception of Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh also continue to remain rainfall deficient areas.

The countrywide cumulative rainfall since June 1, 2008 has been just 1% below the normal of 512.1 mm. At the micro-level, 71% of the meteorological districts received normal to excess rains, 27% received deficient rains and 2% received scanty rains

In the week ended August 6, there was good rainfall in different parts of the country, with the exception of coastal Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Lakshadweep, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and Gangetic West Bengal.

The overall performance of the SW Monsoon may look rosy, but its erratic behaviour in the southern peninsula and Gujarat in the first half of July, the crucial month, has taken a toll on crops.