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Mrunal Manmay Dash

Odisha appears to be staring at a possible drought situation as 24 districts in the State have recorded deficit rainfall since June 1, with August recording a high of 70 percent shortfall.

Speaking exclusively to OTV on a drier August this year, India Meteorological Department (IMD) Chief Dr Mrutyunjay Mohapatra said, “There is deficit rainfall of over 70 percent in almost all districts of Odisha in August so far.”

Linking the cause to absence of low pressure systems in August, Mohapatra said Odisha usually witnesses 2-3 low pressure systems during this month. “But it has been 12 days in August and there are no signs of any rain, whatsoever, in the State,” he said.

As per the IMD Chief the deficit situation is likely to continue till August 15, except one or two places where scattered rainfall is likely to occur.

However, the active monsoon may bring rain to the State only after August 15. “Till then, there are no signs of any rainfall activity,” predicted Mohapatra who shot limelight for accurately predicting the landfall area of devastating cyclone Fani in 2018.

Sprinkling some hope in the minds of the farmers’ community, Mohapatra said that the monsoon induced low pressure in the second half of August has the potential to make up for a major part of the deficit.

“The cumulative rainfall prediction (June 1 – Sep 30) made by the IMD stated that there are chances of deficit rainfall in the districts of Northern Odisha while the remaining parts of the State are likely to witness normal rain. The prediction held true till July 31. However, with the advent of August, the rainfall gradually subsided, recording an overall 70 percent deficit in the State,” said Mohapatra.

He said though there are chances of rains in the second half of August and in the month of September, “But we cannot say much about it now.”

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