Southwest monsoon likely to be deficit: Minister

New Delhi, Aug 12 :

The southwest monsoon this year will be deficit, with 87 percent of average rainfall, but there is no threat of drought as the rains will pick up in August and September, Earth Sciences Minister Jitendra Singh said Tuesday.

The deficit rainfall in June and July has affected overall average rainfall for the monsoon season (June to September) forcing the ministry to scale down its earlier expected rainfall forecast from 93 to 87 percent, which falls in the deficit category.

Jitendra singh
Jitendra singh

“Monsoon overall is not pessimistic but the scaling down of forecast is due to poor rainfall in the months of June and first two weeks of July,” Jitendra Singh told reporters here.

“Region-wise, the seasonal rainfall is likely to be 76 percent of the average over northwest India, 89 percent over central India, 87 percent over south peninsula and 93 percent over northeast India,” he said.

“Northern India will receive less rainfall and reel under hot and humid weather,” said the India Meteorological Department (IMD).

However, Jitendra Singh said there was no need to be “alarmist” and rainfall was expected to be good in the second half (August and September).

“Rainfall is expected to pick up in August and September,” he said.

He said the government was well prepared to deal with any situation, and denied that 2014 could turn out to be a drought year.

“We can ascertain that only after the end of monsoon season, which is after September,” he said.

According to IMD parameters, drought is declared when average rainfall is deficit from 25 to 50 percent.

Meanwhile, the deficit rainfall is most likely expected to affect the yield of crops like millet, sorghum, ragi and pulses while states like Punjab, Haryana, and Rajasthan will be the worst hit.


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