Shimla, March 2
For the seventh time in the past eight years, the hill state witnessed a deficit rainfall in February. The deficiency on six occasions, including this year (71 per cent), has been 60 per cent or more.
“It’s a worrying trend. It could be due to less active western disturbances that cause rain in winters,” said Surender Paul, Director, Meteorological Centre, Shimla.
He said the deficit rain this time would pinch more as snowfall had been sparse too. “It is likely to impact the availability of water and crop yield. The deficit rain in February isn’t a big concern if there has been good snowfall in December and January. But that was not the case,” said Paul. Seven western disturbances of weak intensity hit the state during February, resulting in scattered precipitation. In the eight years since 2016, 2020 saw minimum precipitation in February with 87% deficit. In 2021, the deficiency was 81 per cent. It was only in 2019 that the state saw excess rainfall (91% above normal) in February.
The forecast for March and beyond in terms of rain and temperatures isn’t any better. As per the data shared by the Weather Department, the precipitation in March is likely to be deficient, anywhere between 20 and 59%. “There are slim chances of rain in the first two weeks. Maybe we will have some rain from the third week onwards,” said Paul.
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