Driest June in India (Representational Image)
The current month is set to end being the driest June in last 100 years, with monthly rainfall totals below average and less than forecast. Until Saturday, only 106 to 112 mm rainfall was recorded, leaving the June with a deficiency to scanty rainfall in most parts of the country. Since 1920, there were four such years when June has been so dry. Rainfall recorded in 2009 was 85.7 millimetres while the years 1923, 1926 and 2014 witnessed 102 mm, 95.4 mm and 98.7 mm downpour respectively in the month of June.
El Nino, characterised by a warming of surface temperatures in the Pacific Ocean, resulted into lower than normal monsoon rainfall in 2009 and 2014. The phenomenon affects the flow of moisture-bearing winds from the cooler oceans towards India, negatively impact the summer monsoon, which accounts for over 70% of annual rainfall.
Talking about the 2019 monsoon, experts estimate the chance of El Nino during June-August at 60-65%, which may decrease to 50% from September onwards. However, the situation has been improved in the last few weeks with Marathwada and Vidarbha regions in Maharashtra witnessing rainfall after facing severe drought for long.
Meanwhile, people in Odisha, central and northwest India can take a sigh of relief as a low-pressure situation is likely in the Bay of Bengal. The depression may cause good amount of rainfall in the first week of July in the said regions.
Speaking to the media, K Sathi Devi, senior officer at the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) said, "We are expecting a better monsoon June 30 onwards. It is more likely to progress towards Gujarat and several other parts in the Central India".
July, which is considered as the rainiest month, decides the growth and output of Kharif crops in India. Their seeds are sown at the beginning of the monsoon and the crops are harvested at the end of the season. The amjor Kharif crops grown in India include paddy, maize, jowar, bajra, cotton, sugarcane, groundnut, pulses among others.