New Delhi: About 42 per cent of India is 'abnormally dry' which is around 6 per cent more than last year, according to the Drought Early Warning System (DEWS).
In the May 28 update of the real-time drought watcher, the percentage of the abnormally dry area increased to 42.61 per cent from a week before (May 21) when it was 42.18 per cent.
The increase is 0.45 per cent from April 28 when it was 42.16 per cent. The situation was little better on February 27 when 41.30 per cent area was abnormally dry.
The dry index has worsened over the last year as 36.74 per cent of the area in India was abnormally dry on May 28, 2018.
There is an increase in the area under the 'severely dry' category from 15.93 per cent a week ago to 16.18 per cent on May 28.
Little less than 6 per cent of the area is under the 'exceptionally dry' category.
Some of the worst affected areas are in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Rajasthan.
The area under exceptionally dry category went up from 0.68 per cent last year to 5.66 per cent this year.
The latest bulletin of the Central Water Commission on May 30 said that live storage of water in 91 reservoirs was 31.65 BCM which is 20 per cent of the capacity. However, the bulletin said that the overall storage situation was better than the same time last year.
All eyes are now on the monsoon. The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) in its second early forecast has claimed that it will be a normal monsoon but northwest India and northeast India are expected to have less than normal rains.
The Long Period Average (LPA) of 96 is expected for the whole country which is the bottom of the scale (96 to 104).
In northwest India, rainfall is expected to be 94 per cent and 91 per cent in the northeast. Rainfall is expected to be 100 per cent in central India and 97 per cent in peninsular India.