Monsoon blues (contd)
First, the meteorological department itself has conceded that the accuracy of its prediction is only 53 per cent correct, which means it has 50:50 probability of going wrong. This is where I said that my grandmother’s traditional instincts are much trustworthy. Secondly, the department says that it can’t tell us exactly as to how much rainfall would come in each of the three months of the monsoon season — July, August and September. That is what you need it most.
The meteorological department will therefore be able to tell in June as to how much rainfall you can expect the next month in July; in July they will tell us about the intensity expected in August; and in August they can make a prediction about September. Now, don’t get me wrong but if you were to yourself stand on your rooftop in June, the chances are that you too can predict with quite a broad assessment about the coming rains in the next few weeks.
For the farmers, the monsoon forecast makes little sense. It is the timeliness and the geographical spread that is more important. If the rains come on time in June and then disappear for the next few months, and then again there is a heavy downpour in August, the average performance would be near normal. But in the process the entire freshly sown crop would have withered away necessitating either re-sowing or for many abandoning the kharif crop altogether.
This year also indications are that the rainfall will be deficient in north-western parts of the country as well as the northeast. But in the absence of any definite assessment it is difficult to know how spatially it would be distributed and for how long. There have been times earlier when the country as a whole gets normal or above normal rains, some parts/regions go dry. It has happened a few years in Rajasthan, and there have been cases when rains have bypassed the central region of the country altogether. Last year, Bihar and Jharkhand were faced with drought while the rest of the country received bountiful rains.
previous page next page