The four-month south-east monsoon season (June-September) came into end on Wednesday with an overall rainfall deficiency of 14% from the benchmark long period average (LPA).
According to an India Meteorological Department (IMD) official, June received exceptionally good rains which was 16% more than LPA. “However, July consumed all the surplus rains and ended with a deficiency of 17%, while August reported 23% less rains than the normal benchmark,” an IMD official said.
The rainfall during September remain rain deficient to the tune of 26% of LPA.
The IMD last month retained its earlier forecast of a ‘deficient’ monsoon season (June-September) for 2015, with rainfall at 88% of the LPA. However, Skymet last month had lowered its monsoon forecast from 102% to 98% of LPA while maintained that the country will receive ‘normal’ rainfall during the year.
The quantum of average monsoon rainfall across the country during June 1 – September 30 has been 760 millimetres which 14% less than the LPA of 887 milllimetres. LPA is calculated on the basis of annual rainfall recorded in 1951– 2000 (89 cm).
The regions worst hit due to less rainfall so far include east Uttar Pradesh (-47%), west Uttar Pradesh (-43%), Marthawada (-40%), Madhya Maharashtra (-33%), North Interior Karnataka (- 29%), and Gujarat region (- 29%) from the LPA.
“Below than normal rainfall and a later-than-normal withdrawal from northern and central parts of the country has pushed the countrywide cumulative rainfall deficiency to 14%,” private weather forecaster Skymet said in a statement.
There are regions which have received excess rainfall so far include west Rajasthan (46%), Gangetic West Bengal (8%) and west Madhya Pradesh (4%).
The kharif sowing activities have been completed in more than 102 million hectare which is about 1.7% more than previous year.
The government expects a 2% drop in the kharif grain output from a year earlier due to the deficient monsoon.
However due to late revival of monsoon in many part of the country, Union agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh last week had said that the rabi or winter crop production in 2015-16 season is targeted to increase 1.55% at 132.78 million ton compared to previous year. With the government holding grain stocks almost twice the requirement and inflation keeping low, analysts don’t see any irrational spiralling of food inflation this year.
Last year also the cumulative rainfall during the entire monsoon season was 88% of LPA, which pulled down the country’s foodgrains production by 5% to 251 million tonne in 2014 – 15 from 265 million ton reported in the previous year.
In 2013, the cumulative rainfall during the monsoon season was 106% of LPA, which falls in ‘above normal’category.