Some regions like Marathwada, Punjab and Haryana to remain parched
The threat of drought in India is not over yet. According to the latest forecast by India Meteorological Department (IMD), the country will receive 95 per cent of the long-period average (LPA) rainfall in the second half of the southwest monsoon season. But north-west region will get only 76 per cent of the LPA despite increase in rainfall since late June.
However, rainfall for some regions will remain low, which is a serious cause for worry. Marathwada has so far received 60 per cent less rainfall and it is unlikely that this gap will be covered substantially. Similarly, Punjab received 58 per cent deficient rainfall from June 1 to August 10. Haryana had 56 per cent rain deficit (see map).
Different models, different predictions
Union minister of state (independent charge) for science, technology and Earth sciences, Jitendra Singh, said that according to the latest estimates, the 2014 southwest monsoon season (June to September) rainfall over the country as a whole is likely to be 87 per cent of LPA.
This is much lower than the forecast issued by IMD earlier. On June 9, IMD had said that the overall rainfall for the country will be 93 per cent of LPA.
Region wise, the latest estimates suggest the rainfall would be 76 per cent of LPA in north-west India, 89 per cent in central India, 87 per cent in south peninsular India and 93 per cent in north-east India.
The minister informed that the new forecast has been prepared by using a new Principal Component Regression (PCR) Model, which is based on five predictors. It has more successful forecast rate than the previous models.
As against the earlier predictions of El-Niño-induced drought this year https://www.downtoearth.org.in/content/el-nino-0, the weather phenomenon has remained weak so far. However, the latest forecasts from most of the ENSO prediction models indicate a continued warming trend. El Niño conditions are expected to sustain during the next two to three months. There is about 50 per cent chance of weak El Niño conditions to develop during the remaining part of the summer monsoon season.
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