Dry patch in midst of monsoon season raises worries

Over the next five days, no improvement is expected; deficient showers are likely to hamper the cultivation of staple food crops and oil seeds.

Published: 31st July 2017 05:30 AM  |   Last Updated: 31st July 2017 09:22 AM   |  A+A-


Photo for Representational Purposes. | EPS

By Express News Service

BENGALURU: The absence of active weather systems in the Arabian Sea is likely to pile on more woes on Karnataka where the South-west monsoon has been deficient for the past four years. Over the next five days, no improvement is expected in the condition of the monsoon, which has remained weak for most of this season.

Though long-range monsoon forecast for the season indicates normal rainfall in the months of August and September, the shortfall of the first two months cannot be compensated, say meterologists.
On the agricultural front, the erratic distribution of rainfall has already affected crops sown in parts of state during the pre-monsoon season. Deficient showers, while affecting their yield, will hamper the cultivation of staple food crops and oil seeds.

Weak monsoons

According to forecasts by the Indian Meteorological Department, monsoon is expected to be weak throughout the state, especially in interior Karnataka. While heavy to very heavy showers are forecast for several states in North India, there is no such forecast for the coastal and Malnad regions in Karnataka which usually witness heavy rains.

Moreover, data reveals that maximum temperatures have hovered 2-3 degrees above normal for the past few days in many cities including Bengaluru. Speaking to Express, S S M Gavaskar, scientist at Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Cell (KSNDMC) said that absence of favourable weather systems in the Arabian Sea has quashed hopes of a normal monsoon season this year too. “There is little activity in the Arabian Sea. Though weather systems are developing in Bay of Bengal, it is of little help to southern India, as systems are concentrated in the northern part of the Bay,” he said.

Erratic distribution

H S Shivaramu, head of Agrometeorology at University of Agricultural Sciences, Bengaluru, said that erratic rainfall distribution and weak monsoon has affected cultivation of cereals such as paddy in the Cauvery command area for the past four years.

“For succesful cultivation of crops, distribution of rainfall also plays an important part. For instance, in the past, a certain amount of rainfall would be recorded during the course of a week. During the past few years however, the amount of rainfall usually received during the course of a week will be witnessed in a single day,” he said.

Despite the erratic nature, agriculture can be sustained if it rains once every 15 days at least. However, there are dry spells when it doesn’t rain in a region for almost a month. This has affected farmers adversely, he said.


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