This year's monsoon may prove to be a deficient one

The delayed surge in rainfall notwithstanding, the 2014 monsoon may end up being a deficient one as the Met department has downgraded its seasonal forecast to 87 per cent from the June prediction of 93 per cent of average rainfall.

The overall shortage is due to the big drop in June as the remaining six weeks are likely to witness copious rainfall.

“The worst is over. For the remaining part of the season (till September 30), the monsoon will see 95 per cent of average rainfall,” said L S Rathore, Director-General of the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD).

The Met agency on Tuesday released its seasonal forecast lowering it to 87 per cent of the average rainfall with an error margin of four per cent.

Region-wise, there is a possibility of 76 per cent of average rainfall over north-west India, 89 per cent over central India, 87 per cent in the southern Peninsula and 93 per cent in the North-East with an error margin of 8 per cent.

Compared to June, the revised figures are lower in every zone. The downgrade means that the 2014 season may end up as a “deficient” one as against the previous prediction of “below normal” rainfall.

“The figures were down due to 43 per cent shortfall of rain in June, though the monsoon picked up in July,” said Shailesh Nayak, secretary in the Ministry of Earth Sciences.

As on Tuesday, the south-west monsoon is 17 per cent deficient in the country, with Odisha being the only state that recorded excess rainfall. The rainfall received by 18 meteorological subdivisions is scanty, while 17 subdivisions received normal rainfall.

Asked about crops, Rathore said farming of coarse cereals like sorghum, ragi and bajra along with soyabean and pulses could become problematic, but there would be no impact on paddy cultivation.

Officials ruled out any possibility of a drought-like situation. “There is no scientific evidence to suggest that there is a drought. There is no reason to be alarmist about it. Overall, it’s not a pessimistic picture. As per the IMD, conditions of drought-like situation are reviewed by September 30,” said Union Science Minister Jitendra Singh.

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