Maha May Receive Below-average Rainfall in May
But most regions in the country are likely to get average or above-average rainfall during the month
Pune: Maharashtra is likely to receive below-average rainfall during May, according to Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology’s experimental forecast, which does not augur well for the state which is reeling under its worst drinking water crisis.
The climate forecast system version 2 (CFSv2), the experimental model of the Pune-based institute, which is eventually set to become the operation model of the India Meteorological Department or IMD. Besides Maharashtra, western parts of Gujarat and Rajasthan, and parts of Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Odisha, are likely to receive below-average rainfall. However, the rest of the country is likely to receive average to above average rainfall during May in the runup to the monsoon season, as per the forecast.
Below-average rainfall till now has led to heat wave conditions in India, including Maharashtra, where water storage in the reservoirs in Marathwada region has declined to just 3% of their capacity. The intense heat, prevailing due to absence of moisture in the air, has caused faster evaporation of reservoir water. “We have heat wave conditions in the country, because the April pre-monsoon rainfall has been lower than normal, especially in south Peninsula and eastern India,” said Sunita Devi, director (weather section) at IMD in Pune. The cumulative rainfall across India between March 1 and April 20 was 6% below average. However, weather officials said that the defi- ciency looks less because rainfall in March was higher than average while that between April 14 and April 20 was 20% below average.
“The prevailing wind pattern is such that the moisture laden maritime air is not intruding the subcontinent,” Devi said.
Weather scientists have, however, cautioned that the weather situation can change anytime in the tropical belt. “There are very few models as of now to get the long range pre-seasonal rainfall forecast. The skill of a single model, that too an experimental model, is limited,” said one of the scientists.
Below average rainfall till now has led to heat wave conditions in India