Northeast monsoon to be normal in state: weatherman

Northeast monsoon to be normal in state: weatherman

Sowing picked up early in most parts of the state this year, thanks to the copious rainfall. dh file photo

Owing to the weakening of the southwest monsoon since June, Karnataka got unlucky during the Kharif season this year too.

However, all’s not lost, as the weatherman is predicting a good Rabi season for the state this year. Rainfall activity is said to pick pace next month with the setting in of the northeast monsoon (October to December-end), giving the farmers, especially those in north Karnataka, a reason to rejoice.

Except for the year 2017, Karnataka has been experiencing successive drought years ever since 2011, with the failure in both southwest and northeast monsoon activities.

This year, the state has already identified 86 taluks as drought-affected. More number of taluks might be added to the list if the state continues to receive deficient rainfall.

C N Prabhu, scientific officer at the Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre (KSNDMC) told DH that the state was expected to receive normal rainfall during the Rabi season.

“As of now, the northeast monsoon will be normal - we are not expecting any abnormality, unlike 2015 and 2016. Those years, Karnataka was the only state to have submitted a memorandum to the Centre seeking grants under National Disaster Relief Fund. The withdrawal of the southwest monsoon has started, and the northeast monsoon is expected to set in by the first week of October,” he added.

Interestingly, the cumulative progress of rainfall for the period from June 1 to September 9 for the state as a whole shows a drastic improvement.

As the percentage departure from normal rainfall is (+)1, the state has been classified under ‘normal’ category for this period.

While the percentage departure in 2017 was (-)14, it was (-)17 in 2016.

In 2015 the percentage departure was (-) 23. The rainfall, when compared to the corresponding period in the last three years, is much better.

This, however, does not mean that rainfall has been distributed equally across the state.

“In Malnad and coastal regions rainfall has been above normal, while it has been below normal in south interior and north interior Karnataka. There has been a successive dry spell in these regions, and hence they come under the drought category. Though the amount of rainfall has improved, distribution has been erratic,” added Prabhu.

While Karnataka has sought a grant of Rs 1,199 crore under NDRF for flood-affected districts this year, it is yet to draw up an assessment for the drought-affected districts.

In 2016, the state had sought Rs 1,600 crore for the failure of crops in Kharif season, and Rs 700 crore for crop failure during the rabi season. In 2015, the state had sought a financial assistance of Rs 1,547 crore under NDRF.

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