The weatherman on Thursday finally backtracked on their projections of monsoon revival, declaring that the country will have “deficient monsoon” in 2012.
Deficient monsoon refers to a situation when the country receives less than 90 per cent of average rainfall for over four months. With hardly any rain in June and July and possibilities of a turn around grim in September, deficient monsoon scenario looms large.
“The seasonal rainfall is likely to be deficient, less than 90 per cent of long period average, which is 89 cm,” Indian Meteorological Department said here on Thursday.
Forecast for the second half of the monsoon season, August and September, is “below normal,” pegged at 91 per cent of average rainfall, with a model error of eight per cent on either side. The only silver lining is rainfall in August, which is expected to be normal.
Chances of adequate rain for the rest of the year, particularly in September, are bleak because of the El Nino conditions that have developed in the equatorial eastern Pacific region in the last two weeks.
El Nino is an unusual rise in the sea surface temperature in the Pacific, which plays havoc with weather across the world and affects monsoon in India.
Latest forecasts from a majority of weather models indicate strong possibility of moderate El Nino conditions in the next two months, which is likely to hit rainfall in the second half of the monsoon season.
The consistent shortage of rain since June have raised speculations of another drought situation, after 2009.
Overall, the country has received 19 per cent scanty or deficient rainfall.
In its first two forecasts in the last four months, the met agency stood firm on its “normal” rainfall prediction, though the April forecast of 99 per cent average rainfall was lowered to 96 per cent in June.
India suffered two major droughts in 2002 and 2009 when the overall seasonal deficiency was 19 and 23 per cent respectively. Millions of tonnes of crops were spoiled, thus triggering an economic slide.
The crisis may be repeated this year as well, as the government is almost certain on reduced yield of coarse cereals and pulses. Drought situation in Gujarat and western Maharashtra has impacted cotton production. The government has already approved a Rs 1,931 crore package to save paddy crops and improve availability of drinking water in villages.