Climate Change

India witnessing second-lowest pre-monsoon rainfall since 1954

According IMD, India received 99 mm rainfall between March and May — with a deficit of 23 per cent

 
By Pratik Sharma
Last Updated: Monday 10 June 2019
Representative Photo: Getty Images

The low pre-monsoon (March to May) rainfall this year — the lowest in the last five years, and second lowest in last 65 years — has become a cause for concern. 

According to records of the India Meteorological Department (IMD), India received 99 millimeters (mm) rainfall between March and May — with 23 per cent below the normal rainfall during this time of the year.

The deficit is prevalent across the country with South India having a deficit of 47 per cent, followed by Northwest India (30 per cent), Central India (18 per cent), and East and Northeast (14 per cent).

All the sub divisions in peninsular India either had a deficit (20 to 59 per cent less than the normal rainfall) or large deficit (60 to 99 per cent less than the normal rainfall).

In the Central region, all sub divisions were either within normal or large deficit. In the state of Maharashtra, all pockets of Vidarbha, Marathwada and Konka had large deficit, according to Skymet Weather.

Regions which had large deficit by more than 80 per cent include Maharashtra, Gujarat, Goa, Daman & Dui and Lakshwapdeep. Goa, and Daman and Dui were worst hit with no rainfall this whole season.

In 2015, the pre monsoon rainfall was good, with lowest deficiency of 24 and 20 per cent in Nagaland and Mizoram respectively. But in 2016, conditions started to worse with Daman and Diu facing 94 per cent deficiency in pre-monsoon rainfall and Gujarat facing 91 per cent deficiency. In 2017, the deficiency reached 100 per cent and 97 per cent in Daman and Dui and Gujarat respectively.

The only state with large excess rainfall was Rajasthan which received 62 per cent surplus rains, followed by Jharkhand. After a dissapointing pre-monsoon, the agricultural community now awaits the annual rainy season. 

In a press release on May 31, the IMD said that rainfall over the country, as a whole for the 2019 southwest monsoon season (June to September), is most likely to be normal.

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