Friday, July 30, 2010

Why This Monsoon Is Not Normal

Indian Met Office has gleefully declared that the 2010 rainfall is normal and published the map in its website to justify its claim. Current rainfall deficit is at -5%. The tolerance for average rainfall remains very high +/- 19%. I would like to draw your attention towards the heterogeneity of Terrain and Climatic conditions of India. Please remember the food security of 1/6th and economic existence of1/10th of global human population depends on truthful projection of Indian Monsoon by Indian Met Office. Monsoon Watch gives a daily briefing of Monsoonal conditions. Here's the map depicting rainfall from 1st June to 28th July 2010 released after weekly briefing.

The lack of red color in the map and the presence of blue color might make it soothing for the eyes. But they hide the fact and at least 5 meteorological divisions had just missed the red color by a whisker. IMD does not provide tabular data, so we had to create one for ourselves.

Met. ZoneTerrainNormal RainfallActual RainfallChange Noted
Coastal KarnatakaCoastal Plain1990.41746-12.28
Konkan and GoaCoastal Plain16431911.916.37
KeralaCoastal Plain1383.91199.2-13.35
OrissaCoastal Plain519.5442.3-14.86
Saurashtra, kautch, DiuCoastal Plain262.7470.579.10
Coastal A.P.Coastal Plain              243.5385.458.27
Tamil Nadu and Pondi.Coastal Plain10716554.20
Coastal Plain Total61506320.32.76
Gangetic W.B.Grain bowl531.9366.7-31.06
Bihar Grain bowl474.4378.1-20.30
East UPGrain bowl381.8260.8-31.69
West UPGrain bowl309.8252.8-18.39
PunjabGrain bowl207.1235.913.90
Har., Chd and DelhiGrain bowl198.2184.5-6.91
Grain bowl Total2103.21678.8-20.18
Assam and MeghalayaH.Plains and plateau1121.8795.7-29.07
H.Plains and plateau Total1121.8795.7-29.07
Sikkim Him. WBHimalayan1027118515.38
Arunachal PradeshHimalayan949.9747.2-21.34
Jammu and KashmirHimalayan226.8298.631.66
Himalayan Total38483808-1.04
A + N IslandsIslands818.7926.813.20
Islands Total1406.81529.68.73
E. RajasthanLow rainfall268.5213.9-20.34
N. I. KarnatakaLow rainfall210.7271.829.00
RayalaseemaLow rainfall141.2221.957.15
W. RajasthanLow rainfall119.6174.545.90
Low rainfall Total740.0882.119.20
ChattisgarhPlateau and Plains546.7453.1-17.12
JharkhandPlateau and  Plains488264.5-45.80
VidarbhaPlateau and Plains467.1510.89.36
East MPPlateau and  Plains476.8391.7-17.85
Inner Gujarat and DamanPlateau and Plains435394.1-9.40
Madhya MaharashtraPlateau and Plains350.7416.518.76
West MPPlateau and  Plains381.6282.9-25.86
S. I. KarnatakaPlateau and  Plains347.6313.4-9.84
TelanganaPlateau and Plains348.6418.620.08
MarathwadaPlateau and Plains315.4408.629.55
Plateau and Plains Total4157.53854.2-7.30
Grand  Total19527.318868.7

So we can see there are actually more areas in red. Lets check out where it has rained most,

  • The traditionally low rainfall areas like west Gujarat, west Rajasthan great surplus of rain.  
  • The West coast and the state of Maharashtra along with Andhra Pradesh and Surprisingly Tamil Nadu.  
  • Western Himalayan States and Punjab. Here the no of rainy days has decreased but when it rained, it poured.
  • Sikkim & North Bengal 
There has been incidents of flash floods too. Neither floods nor Drought is good for the vast rural population of India.Many would like to discard the monsoon anomalies, as they have seen pictures of floods in Punjab and Hariyana on TV. But remember last year there were far more devastating floods in Orissa and Saurashtra, still the National consensus was 2009 was a drought year.

The major crop of monsoon has been predominantly rice and sugarcane. Rice being the staple food for majority of Indians in the states facing rainfall shortage. The rainfall is still not good enough for sowing the rice paddy, although it is great for city folks who face water-logging in their neighborhood.  

Lets sign off with the latest satellite image which clearly shows weak monsoon clouds, with two blobs of cloud in the west coast and in the north.