Possibility of drought high, says private weather forecaster

Possibility of drought high, says private weather forecasterNEW DELHI: There is a major possibility of the country facing drought this year, with the chances being as high as 80 per cent in north west India, according to a private weather forecaster Skymet.

The forecast came even as Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) this evening said the monsoon rainfall a whole during June 2014 was below normal by 43 per cent.

Out of 36 meteorological sub-divisions, the rainfall has been deficient in over 20 and normal only in over 5, it said.

Skymet attributed the El Nino effect to the weakening of monsoon and predicted the rainfall to be at 91 per cent of the long period average.

“The chance of drought in North West India is now 80 per cent, Central India at 75 per cent and South India at 50 per cent,” it said.

Earth Sciences Minister Jitendra Singh had on July 2 ruled out the possibility of any drought like situation but had admitted that monsoon was likely to remain weak and some parts could see less rainfall.

“We had said that monsoon will be 93 per cent. It will be normal in the Northeast, weak in Northwest region of the country that includes parts of Gujarat and Rajasthan,” Singh had said.

According to Skymet, August is expected to be better than other months in terms of rainfall.

During this week, southwest monsoon advanced over entire Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh & Delhi, some more parts of Uttar Pradesh and some parts of north Rajasthan.

The northern limit of monsoon at present passes through Veraval, Surat, Nasik, Wasim, Damoh, Lucknow, Aligarh, Bikaner.

The IMD weather bulletin said conditions are favorable for further advancement of southwest monsoon into remaining parts of Uttar Pradesh and some more parts of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh during next 3 days.–PTI