The rainfall during second half of the monsoon season (June-September) is likely to be in the ‘normal’ range, India Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Tuesday. If the prediction comes true, kharif crops will get a boost water level at key reservoirs will improve further .
“Rainfall over the country during the remaining two months of the monsoon season – August and September — is likely to be 100% of the benchmark long period average (LPA) with a model error of ± 8%,” according to an IMD statement.
The met department said the rainfall during August is likely to be 99% of LPA with a model error of ± 9%. Rainfall in a range of 96-104% of LPA is treated as ‘normal’ and LPA rainfall is pegged at 89 cm, on the basis of average between 1951-2000.
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 close to 3% higher. Till now, 83% of the sowing or 878 lakh hectare is completed and it would continue till the end of the month. On an average, 1,058 lakh hectare is covered under kharif crops sowing. This year’s kharif output, agriculture secretary Shobhana Pattanayak said on Sunday, will suprass last year’s record of 138 million tonne.
In June, 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 while actual rainfall was 102% of benchmark. Even in the month of June, the average rainfall was 104% of LPA.
This year distribution of monsoon rainfall has been uneven. While several parts of the country especially in southern India witnessed deficient rainfall, states like Gujarat, Rajasthan and several parts of the North-East have witnessed floods.
“The atmospheric conditions over the Pacific Ocean continue to reflect neutral El Niño conditions,” according to IMD. The met department also stated that the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) conditions are also neutral which is a ‘good sign for the remaining two months’. IOD is a phenomenon associated with heating of Indian Ocean.
According to IMD, the cumulative rainfall received till Tuesday across the country has been 97% of the benchmark long period average (LPA). So far the northwest India has received ‘above normal’ rainfall (111%) and central India is at 98% of LPA.
In case of southern peninsula, the rainfall so far has been 82% of LPA (deficient) while in east & northeast region, there has been ‘below normal’ rainfall (93%). Especially the rainfall has been ‘deficient’ in south interior Karnataka (65%), coastal Karnataka (80%), Kerala (73%), Marathawada (72%) and Vidarbha (73%).
Out of the 36 subdivision in the country, four have received ‘excess’ rainfall while 24 got ‘normal’ rains so far. Only eight have received ‘deficient’ rains. In terms of area, 19% of the country fall in ‘excess’ rainfall zone, 63% has received ‘normal’ monsoon this year while 18% fall in ‘deficient’ rains zone.