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Sunday, July 1, 2012

Rain deficit 31%, next two weeks crucial India’s Got Only 119mm Against Normal 172mm


New Delhi: The monsoon entered its second month carrying a big rain deficit of 31% as of July 1, but Met officials are hopeful of good rains in July and August. The next couple of weeks could be crucial as the monsoon's performance in this period could dictate whether the government would need to respond with special measures. 
    At the end of June, only the east and northeast region had recorded normal rainfall with a deficiency of just 5%. 

The deficiency in north India (including UP) was 69%, central India (including Gujarat and Maharashtra) 39% and south India 29%. 
    India Meteorological Department (IMD) officials, who till last week were confident that the monsoon would pick up and end the month with a deficiency of only 
around 15%, said a recovery is expected within days as favourable conditions develop in both the Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal. 
    The monsoon line, currently passing through Veraval, Malegaon, Jabalpur, Varanasi and Gorakhpur, has not moved for around a week. "We are expecting a recovery this week. By around July 4-5, monsoon rain should reach more parts of affected UP and some parts of northwest India," said an IMD official. 

Water cut likely for 1 more week 
he BMC is likely to continue the 10% water cut for another week as the catchment area where the four lakes providing water to the city are located have not received adequate rainfall. The civic body has said it currently has enough stock to last till July 15. P 3 'Tropical storms behind poor rains' hile June accounts for 18% of the season's rainfall, the official said it was difficult to say whether rains in July and August would make up for the deficit, especially since it's likely that September could see depressed rains. 
    Rains have been deficient or scanty over 83% of the country, including the granary states of northwest India which is reeling under a severe heatwave. By July 1, the country had received just 119.3mm rain as against the normal of 172mm since the monsoon's onset. 
    D Sivananda Pai, IMD's lead monsoon forecaster, blamed a number of tropical storms in the South China 
Sea/Pacific Ocean for weakening the monsoon in June. "While one or two storms are usual, this June we had threefour tropical storms in that area which dragged away the monsoon's energy and shifted it eastwards. As a result, the Northeast got good rains while the rest of India suffered," Pai told TOI. 
    "There were some factors that were not accounted for by the Met department when it revised its monsoon estimate on June 22. In fact, the chances of a good revival in the coming week are also not too strong but after that, things should improve significantly," said a monsoon expert. "The situation is not alarming yet," he added, "as often the monsoon has been normal despite poor rains in 
June. If the deficiency continues to remain around 20% after mid-July, the government should start getting worried." Going by the normal dates of onset, the monsoon should have ideally covered Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, most parts of Gujarat and some parts of Punjab and Rajasthan by July 1. The Met department has predicted 98% rainfall for July and 96% for August. IMD had recently downgraded forecast of a 99% monsoon to 96% when a El Nino development was clear. 
    With the monsoon having covered only a minuscule portion of Uttar Pradesh, officials have refused to predict an onset date for Delhi. "Once the monsoon touches Lucknow, the situation for Delhi 
will become clear. Even now it is too early to predict a date. However, we are expecting rainfall over the region by the end of the coming week," added the official. 
    Agricultural experts say there is still time for farmers to sow the kharif crop. In the dry Vidarbha region, six more Maharashtra farmers committed suicide in the last 72 hours, taking this year's toll to 422, an NGO said on Sunday. Delayed rains have caused panic among Vidarbha farmers who had sown seeds early in June as there was heavy downpour for two days. A agriculture expert in Patna said the dry spell had yet not affected the standing seedlings of paddy, which is normally sown in central and north-western Bihar.

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