IMD forecasts deficient monsoon for 2015, drought fears grow

India is likely to get deficient rainfall in 2015, according to a latest forecast released on Tuesday by the India Meteorological Department (IMD). If the forecast comes true, this will be the second year in a row which will witness low rainfall.

According to the forecast, the country as a whole will receive only 88 per cent of the Long Period Average (LPA) of precipitation from June to September. While the northwest region will be worst affected with only 85 per cent of LPA, central India will get 90 per cent of LPA, southern peninsula 92 per cent and the northeast will receive 90 per cent.

Deficient rainfall is defined as 90 per cent or less LPA which is the average precipitation of the past 50 years. Thus, all regions except southern India, will receive scanty rainfall.

In an earlier forecast made in April, the IMD had predicted 93 per cent rainfall. “It is unfortunate that the revised forecast predicts even lower rains than before. The government is holding discussions to prepare for relief to the people,” said Union Minister for Earth Sciences Harsh Vardhan. He added that he wished that the forecast was wrong.

Swati Basu, the director of National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting, said that there was no particular reason for a change in the forecast. “This is what our latest calculations show,” Basu added. Lower El Nino in the Pacific Ocean raises our hopes, she said. The centre functions under the Ministry of Earth Sciences.

“The possibility of El Nino developing is low now. The Indian Ocean Dipole is also strong. These two conditions are good for south-west monsoon,” Basu said.

IMD has also predicted that monsoon will reach Kerala on June 5. It usually reaches the southern state by the end of May.

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