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Southern belt may recover from dry spell


Our Bureau

NEW DELHI, Aug. 3

THE India Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted that the prolonged dry spell affecting the standing kharif crop in several areas of South India will return to `normal' during the second half of the monsoon season.

``The present synoptic conditions are evolving towards the monsoon circulation returning to normal after a brief spell of weak monsoon. Probabilistic considerations indicate that the rainfall deficiency in the drought affected districts of south peninsul a may be made up to some extent during the remaining period of the monsoon season, particularly during September, when the monsoon starts retreating and causes good thunderstorm activity in the peninsula,'' the IMD has said in its `mid-season review of t he South-West Monsoon 2001', released here today.

According to the review, nine out of the country's 35 meteorological sub-divisions have recorded deficient rainfall during the first half (June-July) of the current season, as against the corresponding figures of six in 2000, seven in 1999, five in 1998, six in 1997, five in 1996 and six in 1995.

But in terms of districts, the monsoon performance has been relatively better. Only 25 per cent of the country's districts have experienced deficient rainfall during June-July 2001, compared to 28, 35, 25, 29, 32 and 33 per cent in the corresponding firs t half of the 2000, 1999, 1998, 1997, 1996 and 1995 monsoon season, respectively.

The country as a whole received an area-weighted rainfall of 490.4 mm during June-July 2001, five per cent higher than the historical long period average of 466.1 mm for this period. Moreover, the cumulative rainfall was normal to excess in 83 per cent o f the country's area.

The IMD has held that the monsoon so far has been ``well distributed'' particularly along the West coast, Central and North-West India. ``A redeeming feature of this year's monsoon is that the States affected by drought during 1999 and 2000 _ Rajasthan, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh _ received excess to normal rainfall. The rainfall was also timely,'' it said.

The nine sub-divisions that have recorded deficient rainfall (i.e. shortfall in excess of 20 per cent) in the first half of the current season include North Interior Karnataka (49 per cent below LPA), South Interior Karnataka (minus 22 per cent), Rayalas eema (minus 44 per cent), Marathwada (minus 31 per cent), Assam & Meghalaya (minus 25 per cent), Arunachal Pradesh (minus 34 per cent), sub-Himalayan West Bengal & Sikkim (minus 23 per cent), Konkan & Goa (minus 21 per cent) and Andaman & Nicobar Islands (minus 34 per cent). Besides, rainfall has been poor (i.e. shortfall exceeding 10 per cent) in Telangana, coastal Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

The districts reporting rainfall deficiency exceeding 25 per cent include Bangalore (Rural), Chamarajnagar, Kolar, Mandya, Mysore, Kodagu and Tumkur in South Interior Karnataka, Bidar, Bijapur, Dharwad, Bagalkote, Gulbarga, Koppal and Raichur in North In terior Karnataka, Anantapur, Kurnool and Cuddapah in Rayalaseema, Aurangabad, Nanded, Osmanabad, Latur and Jalna in Marathwada.

Related links:
Rainfall spread `satisfactory'
With excellent precipitation across India -- Plentiful showers raise kharif hopes
Monsoon exceeds expectations in June
IMD predicts yet another normal monsoon

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