Half of the districts in the country are rain deficient

Half of the districts in the country are rain deficient

Monsoon Round-Up: Fresh spell of rain expected from Thursday

2019 is the worst monsoon experienced by in India since 2014 with only 17% of districts receiving excess rain while 51% getting a deficient shower, as on July 17. (PTI File Photo)

With more than half of the districts receiving deficient rainfall by the third week of July, India Meteorological Department has pinned its hope on a fresh surge in the south-west monsoon in central India and northern plains between July 25 and 27 to make up for the losses.

2019 is the worst monsoon experienced by in India since 2014 with only 17% of districts receiving excess rain while 51% getting a deficient shower, as on July 17. The corresponding figures for 2014 were seven and 73% respectively. The four years in between fared better.

Overall India has a deficit of 19% rainfall as on July 23 with north-west, central and peninsular India, each recording 21% deficiency. The east and the north-east are a little better after last week's downpour with the shortfall coming down to 13%.

As many as 379 districts, out of 686, received deficient rainfall impacting the sowing of crops. Sowing of paddy (down by 32 lakh hectares), pulses (13 lakh ha), coarse cereals (12 lakh ha) and oilseeds (13 lakh ha) is less than the corresponding period last year, according to the sowing data maintained by the agriculture ministry.

The Met agency now hopes for a renewed spell, which would be preceded by more than 200 mm of rainfall in Konkan, Goa and Coastal Karnataka for next 24 hours following which there would be a lull.

Heavy rainfall seen in the northeast, Sikkim and northern parts of West Bengal will reduce with the action shifting to the central and northern plains.

“The rainfall activity is very likely to increase over central India, adjoining northern parts of peninsular India and along the northern plains from July 24 for the subsequent 3-4 days with peak intensity on July 25 and 26,” IMD said in a statement.

The states that would benefit are Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi, Punjab and Rajasthan. The prospect of a heavy to very heavy rain with thundershowers brightens up for Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, east Rajasthan and parts of Uttar Pradesh.

These states are among the most water-starved ones in the 2019 south-west monsoon season with Himachal and Uttarakhand recording 40% deficiency on July 23. The two meteorological subdivisions with the maximum shortfall are Saurashtra and Kutch (57%) and Gangetic West Bengal (55%).

The reservoir status is not very promising either. The total live storage in 91 important reservoirs of the country monitored by the Central Water Commission shows that the total storage is more than 12 billion cubic meters less than the storage last July. Seven reservoirs have no live storage at all as on July 18, while only two didn't have it last year.