New Delhi: Rainfall in the country was 14 percent lower than normal during the Southwest monsoon that officially ended on Wednesday with a double-digit rain deficit being recorded for the second consecutive year causing drought in some states.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

This year’s summer rains were particularly affected by the El-Nino phenomenon with the deficiency for the four-month long season being more or less in line with the forecast of the Indian Meteorological Department(IMD) which predicted 12 percent deficit. Last year, there was a 12 percent deficit.

Around 55 percent of the country, however, received “normal” rainfall, the IMD said.

The official period for the Southwest Monsoon season in India is between 1 June and 30 September.

“Rainfall in Southwest monsoon was 14 percent deficient. We are satisfied that our Long Range Forecast have turned out as per our prediction. This was for the first time that we made a prediction of more than 10 percent deficiency,” IMD Director General Laxman Singh Rathore said.

IMD had made a forecast of 88 percent rainfall with plus or minus 4 percent.

Country wise, Northwest India has recorded a deficiency of 17 percent, followed by 16 percent in Central India, 15 percent in Southern Peninsula and 8 percent in East and North-east India.

Several parts of the country also witnessed a drought like situation. For instance the deficiency in Marathwada ended at 40 percent, but situation has particularly turned grim where the overall deficiency now stands at around 45 percent. Incidentally, West Rajasthan, which is usually known to be arid, has received 46 percent more rainfall this year.

The season this year witnessed rainfall, which started with excess rainfall for the first month, but ended with a deficiency in the remaining three months.

The monsoon, which hit the Kerala coast a tad late on 5 June, four days after the official onset of rainy season in India. June saw 16 percent excess rain this season. However, July witnessed deficiency of 16 percent. It further grew to 22 and 24 percent for August and September respectively.

Some of the states that have observed very poor rains are Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana and Maharashtra, Skymet, a rival of IMD said.

With weak monsoon, India’s food grain production is also projected to drop by 1.78 percent to 124.05 million tonnes in the 2015-16 kharif season due to poor monsoon and drought-like situation in some states like Karnataka. Food grain output was 126.31 million tonnes (MT) in the kharif (summer) season of the 2014-15 crop year (July-June).

As the season ended with a deficit, as on 23 September, ninety-one major water reservoirs monitored by the Central Water Commission (CWC) filled to the extent of only 62 percent to its total capacity of 253.388 billion cubic meter (bcm).

PTI

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Southwest monsoon ends 14 percent lower than normal in India