First week of monsoon deficient, raising fears of severe El Nino

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The first week of monsoon has been deficient by 48%, revealed Indian Meteorological Department officials. The monsoon already arrived late by about five days. The Kerala entry date was June 5th instead of the usual June 1st. Initial predictions said that the monsoon could be lower by about 5%.

But the present deficiency does not impact the farming activity so much as it picks up after the second week of June only and requires more amount of water after the second week of July. The season’s crops are mostly rice, corn, soybean, cotton etc. “We expect the weak phase to continue until the middle of next week,” said a weather official. The El Nino effect could add to the one in three chances of drought which even otherwise occurs in South Asia.”There could be a weak to moderate El Nino during the last week of July to early August, through it is still in a neutral condition,” said L.S. Rathore, the head of the India Meteorological Department (IMD).

IMD, at a worst case scenario is expecting 33% chance of a deficient monsoon. Combined with the El Nino effect, the crucial late July, early August period is going to see less rain and more heat generally across India. The freshly sown crops may not take root and the over all output could be seriously affected if these worst predictions come true. The government is yet to declare the situation as low monsoon or drought situation.

Medaram Jathara

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