Data shows a 32% rainfall deficit from June 1 to 28, with 12 districts recording a deficit of 21% or above
The southwest monsoon rainfall has been deficient over Kerala so far, and indications are that the State need expect only light to moderate rain over the new few days as well.
Data released by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) show a 32% rainfall deficit from June 1 to June 28, with 12 Kerala districts recording a deficit of 21% or above. Kottayam and Pathanamthitta have recorded a deficit of 6% and 16% respectively during this period, but percentage departures ranging between -19% and +19% from the normal are considered ‘’normal rainfall’ by the IMD.
“’The southwesterly winds are weak at the moment and hence heavy showers may not be there for another five days. But many places in Kerala can expect light to moderate rainfall,”’ P. S. Biju, Senior Scientist, IMD Meteorological Centre, Thiruvananthapuram, said.
The Lakshadweep Islands and Mahe, which come under the region, also have recorded a deficient monsoon so far.
A June 1 updated long-range forecast by the IMD had predicted a normal southwest monsoon for India as a whole, but indicated that it could be below normal for Kerala, especially along the coastal belt. A five-day forecast issued by the Met Centre, Thiruvananthapuram, on Monday indicated that the State can expect light to moderate rainfall till at least July 2.
While the weak monsoon has not pushed the the farm sector into a crisis, paddy farmers who have completed their sowing may face some difficulty due to the current ‘break’’ in rainfall, said B. Ajith Kumar, Department of Agricultural Meteorology, College of Agriculture, Vellanikkara.
Meanwhile, the hydel reservoirs maintained by the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) were 46% full on June 27, with storage adequate to generate 1888.9 million units (MU) of electricity. This is the highest for the day since 2018. The Idukki reservoir is 49% full, according to load despatch centre data.
This year, the monsoon had set in over Kerala on June 3, however the onset has no bearing on the actual performance of the southwest monsoon season which lasts till Septmber end. There have been instances where a delayed onset and an early onset have both ended in a deficient monsoon, Met Centre officials said.
This year, Kerala had recorded a ‘large excess’ (in excess of 60% over the normal) in the winter rainfall (January and February) and the summer rainfall (March, April, May).
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