Severely dry conditions in Maha till Aug 22

PUNE: , along with alternate places in central India, is set for moderately dry to severely dry conditions till August 22.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) provided this forecast based on the analysis of the extended range outlook of the standard precipitation index (SPI). The SPI, which measures drought based on rainfall received, has shown negative rainfall abnormalities over many parts of the state till August 22. The SPI is negative for drought and positive for wet conditions.

Pulak Guhathakurta, the head of the climate data management and services at IMD, Pune, said as per the SPI’s outlook, parts of Madhya Maharashtra, Konkan, Vidarbha and Marathwada, among alternate regions in central India like Telangana, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, and west India including parts of Gujarat may have moderately dry to severely dry conditions till August 22. The forecast showed that a portion of south Maharashtra may also experience extremely dry conditions.

“This prediction is based on conditions over these parts between July 26 and August 22, when rainfall may be severely below normal or unexpectedly less. Only a small part of Madhya Maharashtra may be ‘mildly dry’ during this period. As the coming two to three weeks may be unexpectedly dry, crops sown in July may be affected,” said Guhathakurta. “The northern parts of the country, including Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, will experience mildly wet to mildly dry conditions. Punjab, however, may witness extremely dry conditions,” he further.

The SPI indicated wet conditions for none of the regions in Maharashtra. It has eight categories: extremely wet, severely wet, moderately wet, mildly wet, and extremely dry, severely dry, moderately dry, mildly dry.

IMD also monitors the incidence, spread, intensification and cessation of drought with the aridity anomaly index (AAI). As per aridity conditions monitored by IMD from July 23 to July 29, most of the northern, eastern and southeastern parts of Madhya Maharashtra, adjoining western and southern parts of Marathwada, among some alternate regions in the country, were hit by severe arid conditions. “Most parts of south-interior Karnataka, Madhya Maharashtra, few northwestern and eastern parts of Marathwada were hit by moderate arid conditions,” said Guhathakurta.

The IMD has taken a new initiative of generating SPI outlook up to four weeks using extended range prediction from this year monsoon.

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