Vidarbha, Marathwada and central Maharashtra may receive heavy rainfall over the weekend, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has forecast.
IMD scientists attributed this to cyclonic storm Daye, which on Friday evening, was close to Raipur in Chhattisgarh. The system, however, weakened into a deep depression by late evening. It also pushed the monsoon withdrawal further, and it is now expected to commence simultaneously from Rajasthan and Gujarat after September 25.
“There will be widespread moderate to heavy rainfall activity over Vidarbha, Marathwada and north Madhya Maharashtra during the next two days,” said A K Srivastava, head of the climate monitoring and analysis group, IMD.
Between 8.30 am and 5.30 pm on Friday, moderate rainfall was reported over most stations in Vidarbha — Nagpur and Wardha (39 mm each), Bramhapuri (18 mm), Gondia (25 mm), Yavatmal (9 mm) and Amravati (8 mm). However, the rainfall situation in Marathwada (-17 per cent) and Vidarbha (-10 per cent) remained below normal. This has been the case for these two sub-divisions in the state for the majority of this season. Currently, Maharashtra is six per cent short of the normal rainfall this season.
The possibility of the rainfall spell, forecast over September 22 and 23, is crucial as it is the only hope for any improvement in the rainfall situation during the last leg of the ongoing southwest monsoon season.
The reservoirs in these two sub-divisions have not reached even half of their total storage capacity this season. For instance, Jayakwadi dam in Aurangabad has only 46 per cent stock as against 88 per cent last year during this period. Similarly, Upper Wardha dam had 47 per cent stock as on September 20 this year, while it had 84 per cent in the same period last year. The prolonged dry spell since August 21 has also hit the standing crops in these two sub-divisions.
“With the continuous dry spell, a lot of the near-mature standing crops, like cotton and soyabean, have been badly hit. Cultivation over north Vidarbha, Marathwada and north Madhya Maharashtra have suffered during this last one month,” said an official from the Agriculture Meteorology (AgriMet) division of IMD on Friday.
“The monsoon winds have remained weak for a very long time and that has affected the rainfall distribution,” said another Met official.
Since the past one week, some parts of Maharashtra, including Pune, have received rains. But Met officials said the maximum temperatures have jumped above the normal, which may cause some thunderstorm activities.
“A lot of heating has taken place, pushing the day temperatures. Pune and the adjoining areas will remain hot as maximum temperatures will hover around 31 to 32 degree Celsius during the next few days,” added the Met official.