Monsoon deficient, India on brink of drought

Last Updated: Friday, August 3, 2012 - 10:07

New Delhi: The crucial south-west monsoon rains will be deficient this year, the weather office announced on Thursday, the first indications of a drought-like situation after three years.

However, monsoon in August is expected to be normal but a question mark looms over rainfall in September as El Nino conditions (warming of central Pacific Ocean) appear set to turn unfavourable for the country, IMD said.

"The seasonal rainfall of the entire southwest monsoon season -- June to September -- is likely to be deficient," the India Meteorological Department said in an update to the monsoon forecast.

The monsoon rains are expected to be less than 90 per cent of the long-period average, a 50-year timeframe of the rainfall recorded during the four monsoon rains. The LPA is pegged at 89 cm.

"In August, we are hoping for a better rainfall scenario ... But there will be some problem in the terminal part of the monsoon," IMD Director General Laxman Singh Rathore had said.

He had apprehended poor rainfall in September on account of the warming of the central Pacific Ocean, known as the El Nino phenomenon.

The central Pacific Ocean is expected to experience a warming of the sea surface temperature by 0.5 to 0.7 degrees Celsius.

Since its shaky onset in June, the southwest monsoon has witnessed 19 per cent deficient rains in the first two months of the four-month rain season, prompting experts to draw comparisons with drought years of 2002 or even worse in 1918.

In 2002, rainfall deficiency for June-September season was 19 per cent while in 1918 it was 28 per cent.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, August 2, 2012 - 21:02

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