The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has finally said what the government has been hesitating to accept, IMD has said that monsoon rains will not be enough to save the country from its first drought in three years. The weather office said that rains over the entire June to September season were now expected to be less than 90 percent of long-term averages. Earlier it was reported that between June 1 and August 1, rainfall was about 19 percent below average, close to the 23 percent shortfall in the 2009 season.
The first two months of the monsoon season, the rainfall over the country as a whole up to July was 79% and in August too is expected to be normal. But the MET department has been reported saying that the rainfall in the next two months may remain below normal and around 91% due to the El Nino impact. IMD has said that El Nino conditions are building up in the equatorial Pacific with sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies of â‰¥ 0.5oC observed over much of the equatorial east Pacific during the recent two weeks. The latest forecasts from a majority of the dynamical and statistical models indicate strong possibility (with a probability of about 65%) for weak to moderate El Nino conditions to emerge during the next two months.
Confirming that, based on the rainfall distribution over the country till date and outlook for the second half of the season, the seasonal rainfall of the entire southwest monsoon season (June to September) is likely to be deficient.
Meanwhile, the government too realizing the situation has said that it has prepared contingency plans for 320 districts where monsoon rains have been poor. The contingency plan prepared by Central Research Institute for Dryland Agriculture (CRIDA), apart from various other measures will provide knowledge input twice a week from ICAR besides seeds for alternate crop. The government is also trying to provide states with additional electricity to draw water from tube wells.