New Delhi: India`s crucial monsoon rains have been 31 per cent deficient so far but the weather office has forecast increase in rainfall for peninsular region and fall in temperature for northern region over the next four days.
According to data released by the weather office this evening, 83 per cent of the area of the country, including the granary states of Punjab and Haryana, has received deficient or scanty rainfall.
The country as a whole has received 119.3 mm rainfall as against the normal of 172 mm since the onset till July one.
The weatherman said cyclonic circulations had formed over Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal, raising hopes for good rains in the peninsular region.
Weather scientists expect the monsoon rains to revive later this week and bring copious rains to most parts of the country.
These two weather systems are traditionally known to drive the monsoon rains into parts of north and northwest India through their interaction with the extra-tropical systems or the western disturbances.
The MeT office has forecast rain or thundershowers would occur at many places over west coast, interior Maharashtra, interior Karnataka, Lakshadweep, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Odisha, south Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh.
Rainfall in June accounts for 18 per cent of season`s total and the deficiency had been 29 per cent till yesterday.
In 2009, the June rains were 47.2 per cent below a 50-year average called as the long period average.
This year has seen a delayed onset of monsoon rains over Kerala and they have been making a sluggish progress drawing concerns from the farming community.
The weather office, however, has only marginally downgraded the seasonal forecast keeping it within the normal range.
Rao said in 2009, which saw 23 per cent deficient rains
as against 19 per cent in 2002, the loss in foodgrain production was in the region of 10-15 million tonnes.
This was when the total area affected due to deficient rainfall was 59 per cent in 2009 as against 29 per cent in 2002, he said participating in a roundtable on `Generating Responses to an Uncertain Monsoon` organised by the Observer Research Foundation.
The government yesterday rolled out a series of measures to tackle the drought-like situation faced by many states.
As many as 400 of the total 627 disctricts have received deficient or scanty rains this season and government has put in place contingency plans for 320 districts.
Ravender Singh, head of the Agriculture Physics Division of the Indian Agriculture Research Institute, wanted the IMD to put in place a national early warning system for prediction monsoon which could give indications of an erratic rainfall season in February.
He said such advance warnings would help policymakers put in place contingency plans.
Rathore said the Agromet division of the IMD has been giving district level weather forecasts to 3.3 million farmers across the country on mobile phones, which includes voice messages to over one million farmers.
He said the weather office has plans to reach out to over 10 million farmers in the next five years.