This year’s monsoon deficiency, likely to be around 13-14 per cent, could be listed among the five worst years in terms of rainfall, officials from the India Meteorological Department (IMD) in Pune said.
In the last 40 years, the highest rainfall deficiency was recorded in drought years 2009 (21.8 per cent), 2002 (19.2 per cent), 1987 (19.4 per cent), 1979 (19 per cent) and in 1982 (14.5 per cent), said IMD officials.
“At present, the deficiency is at 14 per cent. We are hoping for one more spell before the withdrawal of monsoon, which could bring down the deficiency level to 13-14 per cent,” said an IMD official.
According to IMD officials, widespread rains in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh in the last few days have brought down the overall monsoon deficit to 14 per cent of the benchmark long-period average (LPA) from 16 per cent reported a week ago. With the IMD predicting rainfall over north-west and eastern regions during the next few days, the overall deficiency in the monsoon is expected to hover around the same lines, which means this year will be among the five worst rainfall deficient years in the last four decades, officials said.
“Southwest monsoon has been vigorous over sub-Himalayan West Bengal, Sikkim, Punjab, Saurashtra and Kutch, east Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, active over Uttarakhand, Bihar, Jharkhand, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Gangetic West Bengal, Odisha, Gujarat region, Konkan and Goa during past 24 hours,” stated a bulletin issued by the IMD.
The average rainfall across the country during June 1-September 22 has been 718 mm, which is 14 per cent less than the LPA of 839 mm, it said.
Private weather forecaster Skymet, in a statement, said that during the next two to three days, fairly widespread rain was expected over most parts of northwest India. “This may be the last spell of monsoon rain. The upcoming spell will give relief to residents, but it may not be able to improve the rainfall deficiency,” said the statement.
Meanwhile, talking about the monsoon withdrawal, the IMD said the line of southwest monsoon continues to pass through Amritsar, Hisar, Ajmer and Barmer, which means withdrawal in Maharashtra will likely happen only towards the end of the season.
While the country faces a 14 per cent rainfall deficiency this year, the state faces a 25 per cent deficiency but is hoping for a reduced deficiency after another spell of rain expected in the last week of September.