At the end of this monsoon season, only 4.15 per cent of the country’s area – which covers 41 districts – is experiencing either severe or extremely dry conditions.
This was stated in the Standardised Precipitation Index (SPI) report on wet and dry conditions observed from June to September, released by the India Meteorological Department (IMD).
This time last year, a total of 122 districts were facing such dry conditions – about 9.13 per cent area of the country.
The SPI is a key advance indicator projecting the possibility of drought conditions, if at all, looming over a district or region. It is an important parameter that guides state governments in their water management planning towards agriculture and other purposes during the post-monsoon season. The IMD monitors SPI on a weekly basis.
Rainfall recorded during this year’s monsoon, which ended on September 30, was 8.7 per cent above the seasonal normal over the country.
“There is no possibility of drought-like conditions over a majority area over India this year,” Pulak Guhathakurta, head, Climate Research Division, IMD, Pune, told The Indian Express. “However, there are dry conditions prevailing in districts of Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura, along with regions of west Uttar Pradesh.
IMD’s latest rainfall data confirmed that Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura (-32 per cent) and west Uttar Pradesh (-37 per cent) had recorded deficient rain during the last four months.
The SPI analysis report further stated that maximum number of districts recorded wet conditions (ranging from mild to extreme) during August, whereas such conditions were reported by the least number of districts in July. Having recorded 26 per cent excess rain, a total of 393 districts experienced wet conditions as against 276 districts with dry conditions in August.
During June and September, districts showed healthy SPI values, with 466 and 328 districts reporting wet conditions, respectively.
District-wise comparison of SPI in 2019 and 2020
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