Private weather forecasting firm Skymet said on Wednesday that this year’s monsoon, ending Tuesday, was such that this ranked as a mild drought year, with the lowest rainfall in five years. Beside, erratic rain was is likely to impact the output of kharif crops, it said.
“There are three kinds of drought — mild, moderate and severe. Monsoon 2014 has been a mild drought year,” Jatin Singh, chief executive of Skymet, told Business Standard.
Mild drought-like conditions prevailed in Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi, Uttarakhand, East and West Uttar Pradesh, East Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, Rayalaseema, Marathwada, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura.
“These regions finished the season with deficit (lower than normal by 20% or more) rainfall,” Skymet said.
|Month||Monsoon Departure From Normal|
|All India (Cumulative All Four Months)||-12|
Issuing its end-season report, Skymet said the monsoon this year was 88% of the Long Period Average (LPA), i.e 12% below normal. The country usually receives around 89 centimetres of rain during the June-September monsoon. This was the lowest after 2009, when the country had witnessed a severe drought.
Skymet in April had predicted the southwest monsoon would be 94% of the LPA, with a margin error of plus or minus four per cent. It had later scaled this down to 91% of the LPA, with the same error margin, due to a 40-plus per cent deficiency in the June rain. It had also then said there was a 60% chance of drought.
Of all the states, rainfall was more than normal only in Odisha, south interior Karnataka and in Jammu and Kashmir, said Skymet.
On the impact of less than normal rain in some parts on kharif production, Skymet said the area under kharif was 101.92 million hectares, as against 104.47 mha in 2013. “Erratic rainfall and extended dry spells in several parts is expected to impact productivity of kharif crops,” it said.
The southwest monsoon entered India after a four-day delay and its progress was rather patchy. The rains started picking up from mid-July. Skymet data showed rain in June was 43% below normal. In July, the deficit narrowed to 10% and in August, the rains were nine per cent below average. In September, the southwest monsoon was eight per cent above average.
The low rain in the first half of the southwest monsoon also depressed water levels in major reservoirs. However, after the rains revived, these levels picked up.