Monsoon rains continue to be unevenly distributed so far this year, resulting in floods in many parts of Gujarat, Bihar, Bengal, Assam and eastern Uttar Pradesh, while a portion of southern India – mainly Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu – remaining in the ‘deficient’ zone. According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), the cumulative rainfall received till Thursday across the country has been 95% of the benchmark Long Period Average (LPA), falling just below ‘normal’ level. 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 and 2000.
Region-wise, north-west India and east and the North-East have received ‘normal’ rainfall of 101% and 104% of LPA, respectively. Central India has received rains 90% of LPA, which falls in the ‘below normal’ category. In case of the southern peninsula, the rainfall so far has been 84% of LPA, which is in the ‘deficient’ category. Out of the 36 sub-divisions in the country, five have received ‘excess’ rainfall, 22 got ‘normal’ rains, while only nine received ‘deficient’ rains.
In terms of area, 18% of the country falls in the ‘excess’ rainfall zone, while 59% received ‘normal’ monsoon this year and 23% of the areas falls in ‘deficient’ rainfall zones. At present, mainly regions such as Kerala, south interior Karnataka, Marathwada, Vidarbha, western Uttar Pradesh, and western and eastern Madhya Pradesh have received ‘deficient’ rainfall.
In June, the MeT department had predicted that the monsoon season (June-September) rainfall for the country as a whole is likely to be 98% of the LPA with a model error of ±4%. The heartening factor is that the showers in July, which has 33% share in the overall monsoon rains, were estimated around 96% of its LPA, while the actual rainfall during the month was 102% of LPA.
August, which has a share of 29% in the overall monsoon rains, is expected to receive showers at 99% of LPA. The IMD, in its forecast for the next few days, has predicted heavy to very heavy rain over Konkan & Goa regions, north-interior Karnataka, east Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Vidarbha, the North-East, Gujarat region, Telangana and Kerala.
According to agriculture ministry data, till last week, 89% of the sowing or 943 lakh hectare was completed and it will continue till the end of the month. On an average, 1,058 lakh hectare is covered under kharif crops sowing.