Monsoon ends on a dismal note

After its vigorous revival in the first week of July that saw floods, cloudburst and landslides in several parts of the country, the monsoon ended with a 6.6 per cent deficit for the month, while the deficiency of rainfall has been cut back to one percent this year so far. As the deficiency in monsoon declined, planting of kharif crops across the country picked up momentum. So far, 848 lakh hectares have been covered against 890 lakh hectares sown in the same period a year ago. Of the 694 districts, 190 have witnessed rainfall deficiency in this monsoon. Met experts have predicted more rains in the month of August.

July recorded extremely heavy rainfall over coastal and central Maharashtra, Goa, and Karnataka. Several towns and cities in Maharashtra were deluged to very heavy rainfall which resulted in catastrophic events like landslides claiming scores of lives and damaging property. The north Indian states — Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Ladakh — also saw cloudburst events that claimed several lives. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) data showed that India received 449 mm rainfall as against the normal 452.2, a deficiency of one percent so far. Northeastern states, Kerala and Lakshadweep, Daman and Diu are among those states which have witnessed rain deficiency so far. 

The IMD issued red and orange alerts for rainfall ranging from extremely heavy to very heavy respectively for 22 districts in Madhya Pradesh. The alerts are valid till Sunday morning.The red alert, for heavy to very heavy as well as extremely heavy rainfall, was for isolated places in Satna, Guna, Sheopur, Chhattarpaur and Tikamgarh, most of these districts being located in north MP along the border with the southern part of Uttar Pradesh, said PK Saha, senior meteorologist with IMD’s Bhopal office.

June received 10 per cent more rainfall than normal. Of the four-month rainfall season, July and August receive the maximum precipitation. Overall, the country has received one per cent less rainfall than normal from June 1 to July 31. The deficit was minus 13 per cent in the east and northeast subdivision of the IMD. Northwest India division which covers north India recorded a two per cent deficit. The south peninsula division which covers the southern states received 17 per cent more rainfall while the central India division that comprises west and central India recorded one per cent more rainfall than the normal.

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