The India Meteorological Department (IMD) today, for the first time, officially hinted at a drought-like situation, saying the southwest monsoon over India in 2012 is likely to be deficient at below 90 per cent of the Long Period Average (LPA).
“Based on the rainfall distribution over the country till date and the outlook for the second half of the season, the seasonal rainfall for the entire southwest monsoon season (June-September) is likely to be deficient (which means less than 90 per cent of the Long Period Average, with a model error of plus or minus 8 per cent),” an official statement issued by the IMD said.
LPA is calculated on the basis of average annual rainfall received during the four-month monsoon season from 1951-2000, at 89 cm. In 2009, when India suffered its last big drought the overall rainfall across the country was 77 per cent of the LPA.
- Bihar says 25 of the 38 districts in state are drought-hit
- Jharkhand calls situation in state as drought-like
- Punjab demands a separate relief package from the central government
- Rajasthan declares 5 districts, Bikaner, Nagaur, Jodhpur, Barmer and Jaisalmer, as drought-hit
- Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar & Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh have been on a tour of the drought-affected states of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Gujarat and Rajasthan
IMD declares drought when the total rainfall in the season is 19 per cent below normal.
In its last forecast for 2012, issued in June 22, the Met department had said the total rainfall across the country during the season would be 96 per cent of the LPA, with a model error of plus or minus 4 per cent.
The met department said rains in August would be normal at 96 per cent of LPA, while the intensity might go down in September.
“Rainfall during the next two months of the southwest monsoon season, i.e. August and September is cumulative rainfall would be 91 per cent of LPA (which is also deficient) with a model error of plus minus eight per cent,” the Met office said.
"In August, we are hoping for a better rainfall scenario... But there will be some problem in the terminal part of the monsoon," IMD Director General Laxman Singh Rathore had said recently.
He had apprehended poor rainfall in September due to the warming of the central Pacific ocean, known as the El Nino phenomenon.