Thiruvananthapuram: The deficient southwest monsoon in the state has broken a 10-year record. The first half of the monsoon (June-July) has recorded a 42 per cent deficient rainfall this year. A similar scenario was there in 2002 when the state recorded 43 per cent deficient rainfall in the first half of the monsoon season.
Surprisingly, both the years witnessed the presence of El Nino condition. Though the India Meteorological Department denies one-to-one relation with the Indian monsoon and El Nino (warming of air surface pressure over the tropical west Pacific), development of El Nino this year is expected to affect rainfall in August-September period.
Another deficient year was 2008, when the state recorded 31 per cent deficient rainfall in June-July. However, both in 2002 and 2008, monsoon rainfall during the entire season (from June-September) was deficient by 35 per cent and 22 per cent respectively.
“Apart from 2002 and 2008, all other monsoons in this decade were normal or near normal,” IMD director K Santhosh said. The state should normally get 204 cm rainfall during monsoon. The first half of monsoon is crucial as 67 per cent rainfall is expected during June (32 per cent) and July (35 per cent). Rainfall during August and September respectively are 21 per cent and 12 per cent.
Experts believe deficiency during the first half of the monsoon season would badly affect agriculture, especially paddy and plantation crops. Though El Nino is touted as a major monsoon dampener, El Nino in 2009 could not create any adversity as the monsoon rainfall in the state was only 9 per cent deficient (normal in IMD definition).
Meanwhile, a low pressure which developed near the West Bengal coast was expected to bring rainfall from August 4. Apart from a few spells, the state failed to get widespread rainfall. The Met is expecting rain in the coming days too. Till Monday, the state recorded 43 per cent deficient rainfall. Against a long period average of 147.66 cm rainfall, the state got only 83.6 cm rainfall.