El Nino ranging between 60-65%: Laxman Singh Rathore, Met Department Director General
In an interview, Rathore said he sees some prospects of the monsoon strengthening in a week, particularly in the south, western coastal areas etc.
What is your assessment of the monsoon so far, and how do you expect the monsoon to progress now?
Seasonal deficit of monsoon as of now is 43per cent. The deficit is more in central and western India. We see a low pressure likely to form in Bay of Bengal on July 12 and by July 13th it to move north-west ward. It will create favourable conditions for rains up to central India, southern peninsula and west coast. It is going to fill deficiency in rainfall in Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Chattisgarh and peninsular states up to Madhya Pradesh. However, in West India - Rajasthan, Haryana, Punjab and large parts of Gujarat particularly Saurashtra things are not very promising.
Are we heading towards a drought?
Drought is a situation which is defined at a later stage. It's a diagnostic. At this stage we don't comment on this. We talk in terms of rainfall deficit which are open data. How it further develops we have to see. There are many droughts- meteorological drought, agricultural, hydrological drought. If at the end of the season rain deficiency in a meteorological subdivision or a state is more than 25per cent then it is moderate drought and if it is more than 50per cent then severe drought. If in one week rain deficit is high you can’t say it is a drought. You can't say it like that.
In the current situation, what preparation can the country make? What are the steps than need to be taken?
As far as farmers are concerned they are being advised to choose select late sown seed varieties. Also the varieties which require less water and early maturing are the buzz word.
What is the current status of El Nino?
El Nino probability is now ranging between 60-65per cent and most likely it is likely to push towards winter months- from October to December. There are so many scenarios. El Nino will not have a major impact on Indian monsoon. El Nino's peak impact will be in late winter by December.
Can cloud seeding help in places where situation is critical?
Don't want to say anything on that. That's not my job. My job is to monitor monsoon and predict rainfall.