Sanjeev Kumar Patro

Bhubaneswar: Dry days will soon time out as heavy rains will lash Odisha from November 9 under the influence of a tropical depression that will cross Andhra Pradesh coasts by November 11-12.

As per the relevant weather data available with the US-based National Centre for Environment Prediction (NCEP), the developing system over north Andaman sea is unlikely to progress into a tropical cyclone.

It needs mentioning here that a Low Pressure Area (LOPAR) will develop over north Andaman sea on November 3 and will move west-northwestwards and concentrate into a depression by November 6.

It will further move towards the Andhra coast and likely to cross near Macchlipatnam by November 11-12.

Since the central pressure of a cyclonic system drops below 960 millibar (mb), and as the developing system's central pressure is predicted to fall to around 990mb, the system is unlikely to progress into a cyclone. The central pressures of depressions usually stay at around 990 mb.

However, as the depression will be bringing with it intense clouds, along with Andhra Pradesh, the whole of Odisha will have an overcast sky from coming Saturday (November 9). The forecast is Odisha will experience intense rainfall till next Monday. The south interior and coastal Odisha will bear the maximum brunt.

The forecast of heavy rains is not a good news for the farmers in the State. But the State government could mitigate large scale loss, provided it activates its disaster mitigating machinery and alert the farmers about the impending rains since November 9.

In this context, the task is cut out for the SRC (Special Relief Commissioner) Odisha. Since a week's time is left,  the State Government should launch a hectic awareness drive at the panchayat level asking farmers to harvest mature standing paddy crops early and shift immediately to safer places or cover it by polythene sheets.

The government has to provide extra polythene sheets to farmers to store their complete produce, because unseasonal rains are occasional and farmers don't stock polythene sheets in large numbers.

However, standing paddy crops that are not mature to be harvested early, will become prone to lodging (displacement of roots) due to high waterlogging following heavy rains. And such condition will affect the grain quality of farmers in a big way. And they will face largescale problems during procurement.

Not only paddy, vegetable cultivation will also take a big hit in the State.