In­dia faces a drought­like sit­u­a­tion

Down to Earth - - THE FORTNIGHT -

Af­ter 24 per cent above nor­mal rain­fall in June, the In­dia Me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal Depart­ment has warned of an eight per cent deficit mon­soon in July. The forecast also points to 10 per cent less rain­fall in Au­gust. For those who track In­dia's drought history and the agri­cul­tural cy­cle, deficit rain in July is al­ways a cause for great worry. In July, the coun­try re­ceives the high­est rain­fall in the four-month sea­son. An anal­y­sis of the coun­try's six worst droughts dur­ing 1877-2005 shows that deficit rain­fall in July was a com­mon fac­tor. It is very un­likely that the re­main­ing months can make up for such a deficit. In case of deficit rain­fall in June, the chances of a deficit over­all mon­soon were around 77 per cent. But if July ex­pe­ri­enced a deficit mon­soon, the chances of a de­fi­cient mon­soon rose to over 90 per cent.

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