Winter rains: India
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Year-wise rainfall data
2017-18: a 67% deficit
Deficit Raises Spectre Of Water Scarcity
The country received just over a third of its normal rainfall this winter, leaving a 63% deficit in January and February that raises the spectre of water scarcity in the coming summer ahead of the monsoon.
Of particular concern will be the large rain and snowfall deficits in the hill states of J&K, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, which feed rivers flowing into the plains of north India. These states get significant amount of winter precipitation, with snow getting gradually released into the plains.
All three states recorded large rain deficits. J&K received 79.5mm of rain during the two months, as opposed to a normal of 212.9mm, registering a 63% deficit. The shortfall in Himachal Pradesh was even higher at 72%, with the state getting just 55.1mm rainfall against a normal of 195.5mm. Uttarakhand got 33.7mm of rainfall, 68% lower than normal (106.2mm).
Overall, India Meteorological Department figures show, 95% of the country had deficient winter rainfall, with as much as 67% of the country’s area recording either large deficiency (rainfall less than 40% of normal) or no rain.
Experts said the low winter rains, particularly in north India, were because of missing western disturbances (WDs) which bring wet and cold weather into the region during the season. “Since December 1, the region received just four WDs affecting the northern plains as opposed to a normal of around nine during the three months,” said Kuldeep Srivastava, head of IMD’s Regional Weather Forecasting Centre here.