The rainfall in August has been deficient by 26 per cent so far, with shortfalls in two successive months triggering fear of a below-normal monsoon this year. According to India Meteorological Department (IMD) data, the rainfall in July was seven per cent less than normal.
"August recorded 26 per cent deficiency till yesterday (August 28)," IMD Director General Mrutunjay Mohapatra said, adding that the shortfall has been recorded in north and central India. June recorded 10 per cent more rainfall.
The IMD will soon release a forecast for September, he said.
The shortfalls in two successive months in the four-month Southwest Monsoon season from June 1 to September 30 have triggered fear of a below normal monsoon this year.
The IMD had earlier predicted a normal monsoon this year. Skymet Weather, a private weather forecasting agency, has downgraded their forecast to a “below normal” monsoon this year.
According to the IMD data, the country received 10 per cent less rainfall from June 1 to August 28.
The IMD had predicted normal rainfall for August (94 to 106 per cent of Long Period Average or LPA), but it appears that the forecast will be off the mark.
Rainfall over the country as a whole during the second half (August to September) of the 2021 Southwest Monsoon season is most likely to be normal with a tendency to be in the positive side of the normal, the IMD had said earlier this month.
Data released by the Agriculture Ministry on Friday showed that the area of paddy cultivation was marginally down by 1.23 per cent to 388.56 lakh hectare so far in the 2021-22 kharif season due to deficit rains in some states.
The IMD has four meteorological divisions covering different parts of the country. The northwest India which covers the north Indian plains and the hill states has recorded 13 per cent less rainfall than normal.
The central India division which encompasses Gujarat, Goa, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Maharashtra has recorded 14 per cent deficiency.
The east and northeast India division that includes Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal and the northeastern states has recorded eight per cent deficiency.
The south peninsula division which covers all the southern states has recorded 5 per cent more rainfall than normal.