Bhubaneswar, Sept 1: Agriculture activities in 18 districts of Odisha are going through crisis. The situation has raised concern like 2002 drought. Drought has been reported in some places in the state. Preliminary review in panchayat and block levels has revealed crop damage due to shortfall of rain, said weather and agriculture expert Dr. Surendranath Pasupalak.
Monsoon arrived late in the state this year which delayed cultivation. Besides, the three long gaps in rainfall have dried up farmlands, he added.
At least 18 districts recorded deficit rain during the month. Normally, five low-pressure areas develop in August and the weather systems enhance rainfall activity in the state. However, this year, only two weather systems (a low-pressure area and one deep depression) formed due to which rainfall activity did not last for longer periods, said Bhubaneswar Meteorological Centre scientist Umashankar Das.
The Indian Meteorological Cantre (IMD) said the core monsoon zone area including Odisha has received the lowest rainfall in August since the last 122 years. The state reported 299.9 mm rainfall during the month against the average of 363.8 mm.
Out of the total rainfall in August, 219.6 mm was recorded in seven days of the month. Most of the rainfall activity took place between August 1 and 3 and on 18, 19, 24 and 25, said Das.
Weather experts have blamed EI Nino impact on monsoon for rain deficit. El Nino refers to an abnormal warming of surface waters in equatorial Pacific Ocean that suppresses monsoon rainfall.
With south-west monsoon remaining subdued during most part of the month, the state also witnessed hot and humid conditions.
However, the rainfall activity is expected to increase in September under influence of a cyclonic circulation which is likely to form over north-west Bay of Bengal and the neighbourhood around September 4, said the regional meteorological centre.
The met office forecast heavy rainfall in some parts of the state from September 2 onwards.