From June 1-26, Bihar (78%) and Maharashtra (70%) recorded the highest June rain deficit in India, India Meteorological Department (IMD) data showed. Other states with a large June rain deficiency are Jharkhand (64%) and Kerala (64%). All other states and Union Territories have lower percentages of deficit or normal to excess rainfall.
Anupam Kashyapi, head of weather forecasting division, IMD, Pune, told TOI, “Though it is too early to gauge how the rainfall is going to be for Maharashtra in July, some of the deficiency in the monsoon rain for Konkan and Madhya Maharashtra is likely to reduce by July 6.
With this, the total rainfall quantum may enter the lower end of normal category; but negative departures are likely to remain for these subdivisions till that time. It may, however, not be the case with the drought-prone agricultural belts of south Marathwada and southeast Vidarbha, where rain deficiency could continue till the first week of July, as per the latest extended range forecast.”
Kashyapi said the extended range forecast showed near-normal rainfall for Marathwada and Vidarbha during the first week of July whiich might not be enough to wipe out the June rainfall deficit in these subdivisions at least till July 6.
A departure of +19% to -19% in monthly rainfall quantum is considered normal for a subdivision, he said.
As per IMD data, all subdivisions in Maharashtra are reporting 60-80% deficiency in rainfall so far.
The rainfall deficiency in June stands at 61% for Konkan and Goa, 73% in Madhya Maharashtra, 82% in Marathwada and 68% in Vidarbha.
Kashyapi said despite rain spells expected till June 30, Maharashtra might still be stay deficient for the month. “We, however, continue to expect good rainfall in parts of Maharashtra from June 30 till July 6, especially Konkan and Madhya Maharashtra,” he added.
Dr Akshay Deoras, research scientist at the University of Reading, UK, said, “Maharashtra’s rain statistics are expected to improve to some extent in Vidarbha, Madhya Maharashtra and Konkan-Goa in the remaining days of June because of a monsoon low-pressure system.”
He added, “However, Marathwada is unlikely to benefit much from it. The total June rainfall in all the four subdivisions is likely to be significantly below respective averages.”
Dr Deoras said, “There are indications that places in Marathwada, Madhya Maharashtra, Vidarbha and Konkan could get below-average rainfall in the first fortnight of July. This is not a positive forecast for kharif sowing since over 200 talukas of the state have received at the most 50mm rainfall since 1 June, which is not ideal for sowing.”