The India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Friday said the rainfall in the country as a whole from August to October will be below normal.
Addressing a press conference, IMD Director General Laxman Singh Rathore said the seasonal rainfall in second half of the monsoon season will be deficient.
Talking about the probable drought situation in the country, Rathore said there is no uniform definition of drought and it is announced after the seasonal phenomena. He, however, said there could be a partial drought in 2012.
He further said that agricultural drought is complex and rainfall deficiency and crop condition need to be looked at before declaring it.
The IMD predicted scanty rainfall in Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and parts of Gujarat. “Punjab and Haryana are all irrigated. East, Central and Northeast India have comfortable situation. Rainfall in paddy harvest area is good so expect paddy produce to be good,” Rathore said.
The IMD said there could be rainfall across Uttar Pradesh in the coming week. “No large scale flood this year, only one incident in Brahmputra river,” Rathore said addressing the press conference.
“Major calamity could be in the coastal area, production in coastal area could be affected. Pulses are comfortable as far as the area of cultivation of pulses is concerned. Ground could be affected but will be compensated by the soya bean production. No effect seen on sugarcane and cotton crops,” said Rathore.
The weather office had on Thursday announced that the crucial south-west monsoon
rains will be deficient this year. This was the first indication 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 had said.
“The seasonal rainfall of the entire southwest monsoon season — June to September — is likely to be deficient,” the IMD had said in an update to the monsoon forecast on Thursday.
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.
“In August, we are hoping for a better rainfall scenario … But there will be some problem in the terminal part of the monsoon,” 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.
Officials said Haryana, Punjab, Gujarat, Madhya Maharashtra, Marathwada and interior Karnataka would be areas of concern where deficient rainfall has been recorded.
Earlier this week, the government had rolled out contingency plans to tackle a drought-like situation faced by several states owing to a weak monsoon.