Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, June 21:
Depressing news indeed for people, especially farmers, in Odisha, who celebrated the onset of monsoon on June 18.
Well known agro-meteorologist Dr S.Pasupalak, professor at the Odisha University of Agriculture Technology has predicted a dry spell over the next five days and says although there is a possibility of a cyclonic circulation off the Odisha coast on June 26, it is still uncertain and even if that happens the rainfall will be mostly limited to south Odisha.
Stating that the monsoon has hit the state 3 times in the 3rd week of June and 3 times in the 4th week of June in recent years, Dr Pasupalak has stressed on the need to revisit the met data over the last 30 years and re-set the date for the onset of monsoon in Odisha, which is June 10 until now.
According to a release from Dr Pasupalak, the onset of Monsoon on June 18 was not only late but also weak. The state has received 29.1 mm rainfall by June 18 as against the Long Term Average (LTA) of 101.7 mm with the deviation of (-) 71%. During the last week (12-18 June 2014) the state received 16.4 mm rainfall as against the LTA of 54.4 mm with the deviation of (-) 70%.
During the current week the scanty position with a deficit of more than (-) 60%) is likely to continue, he said.
” The monsoon trough has not yet been formed. Westerly wind is still dominant on the surface over the country. Weak CYCIR, but no Low Pressure Area (LPA), is indicated by several models in the coming one week.Dry days are likely to continue for the next five days. On June 26 there is the possibility of a Cyclonic Circulation (CYCIR) in the North Bay off the coast of Odisha which would be tilted southward. But it is still uncertain, as several models do not indicate it. If CYCIR occurs, south Odisha (South of Jagatsinghpur) may get fairly widespread moderate rainfall with isolated heavy showers. However, the Central and North Interior would have less rainfall, ” the release said.
“The onset of Monsoon in Odisha is getting late in the recent years. As against the normal of June 10, it has been arriving in the state in the 4th week of June in 3 out of 10 years and in the 3rd week of June in 3 other years. Thus, it’s high time to revisit the data and set a new date of monsoon onset for Odisha based on LTA (last 30 years) data,” the agrometeorologist said.
On the impact of a weak start of monosoon
“The state as a whole has not received the sowing rainfall, which is minimum of 35 mm after the onset monsoon for the places that received good amount of summer rainfall, particularly during 25-27 May 2014. However, several interior places have started sowing due to receipt of adequate rainfall,” the release noted.
“The monsoon rainfall situation in Odisha is similar to many other states including the neighbouring Chhatisgarh, Jharkhand and Coastal Andhra Pradesh. Sowing rain was received only in the East and Northeast States (100 mm) and South Peninsula (64 mm), but in this region too, the rainfall was patchy.”
The release also said, sunny and dry conditions are likely to start from 22nd June in central Odisha and northern part of western Odisha. The coastal Odisha would also get sunny conditions from 23rd June. The sunny conditions are associated with temperature rise. These would lead to higher evaporative demand and lower soil moisture condition, leading to stress condition of already sown crop after a week from today.
“Monsoon onset is not necessarily related to receipt of rainfall amount adequate for starting crop production operations. An‘effective rainfall’ requires at least two days consecutive rainfall with first day’s rainfall exceeding the evaporation and the total amount is five times the evaporation rate plus 10 mm, which comes to nearly 35 mm. Only after this amount of rainfall, crop sowing may start, provided there is no anticipation of dry days ahead. To avoid the problem of Gaja Marudi, conservative dryland scientists recommend sowing in upland only after 100 mm rain,” Dr Pasupalak said.