Scant rain: Too early to press panic button

As there are just four days to go in June, as much as 72 per cent of Indian landmass has barely received any rain. Weather scientists, however, claim that June rainfall does not necessarily reflect the seasonal trend.

Monsoon deficiency stood at 22 per cent on Tuesday, but scientists say that it may be too early to press the panic button. “June comprises only 18 per cent of total rainfall and 82 per cent of seasonal rainfall will take place after June. There are many instances in the past when June was deficient but the monsoon made up eventually,” D S Pai, a monsoon forecaster at Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) in Pune told Deccan Herald.

In 2009, June rainfall was severely deficient (47 per cent below normal) as there was a prolonged hiatus in the advancement of monsoon. Though there was some rain in the later part of the season, the deficiency could not be made up because 2009 ended up as third highest deficient monsoon since 1901 with 23 per cent shortage. Barring the North East, Sikkim and northern areas of West Bengal and parts of Andhra Pradesh, there was no substantial rain anywhere in India in the last 24 hours. Cumulatively, rainfall figures are in the reds in north west, central and southern peninsula where seasonal deficiency stands at 62, 31 and 29 per cent respectively.

“In the absence of any cross equatorial flow from Indian Ocean, monsoon has not yet picked up. South Asia continues to face a weak monsoon,” said Ajit Tyagi, former director general of IMD. The situation is unlikely to improve in the next four days and weathermen are keeping their fingers crossed hoping for turn around only in July.

 Copious rain is expected only in the North East, Sikkim and West Bengal and coastal Karnataka in the next 48 hours.

Forecast

An updated forecast for the country as well as four broad homogenous regions is slated to come out in June.

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