Rainfall in last week along expected lines

Rainfall in last week along expected lines

New Delhi: Having received nearly 87% of the rainfall normally registered during the summer monsoon months of June-September, the rains during the past week were along expected patterns.

While the total rainfall for the week was 2% more than the long-period average (LPA) —the average rainfall over a 40-year period, the corresponding week in 2005 registered an 8% shortfall from the LPA.

“Usually the rainfall is subdued and doesn’t deviate from predicted patterns, beginning last week of August," said BP Yadav, spokesperson for New Delhi-based India Meteorological Department.

However, meteorologists expecting the rainfall to pick up in northwest India, which this year has seen markedly low rainfall, were disappointed.

“Even though rainfall activity during this period is low, the first week of September usually shows increased rainfall over Punjab, Rajasthan, Haryana," said Madhavan Rajeevan, director, National Climate Centre, Pune. “But there is little chance for improvement now."

However, crop scientists aren’t too worried with this phenomenon.

“Those areas are irrigation intensive," said R.C. Dhiman, agronomist with New Delhi’s Indian Council of Agricultural Research. “Moreover, Uttarakhand has received good rainfall, which will feed the canals of these regions."

Although overall rainfall has been distributed reasonably well, West Bengal, Bihar, Uttarakhand, Karnataka, Rayalaseema in Andhra Pradesh, and Kerala continued to receive much more than their usual quota. But, crop scientists say that there is little chance of the rains actually damaging crops under cultivation.

The sowing season, said Dhiman, was progressing extremely well with the total cultivation area of rice, jowar and maize, the principal kharif food crops, reaching almost 90% of the regular acreage covered under the season.

“Thanks to excellent distribution of rainfall, more farmers have been encouraged to sow increasing quantities of the kharif crops," he added.