Post-Monsoon Deficit Worsening Drought in India
A major deficit in the post-monsoon rain, i.e. rain received after September 30, has left parts of the country high and dry.
Therefore, many states were looking forward to good rains in October and November to avoid drought conditions.
This might seem quite good, but the problem lies in the distribution of rainfall across regions and months.
The major issue with extended dry periods during the monsoon is the lowered soil moisture content, a crucial factor for a drought declaration.
This year, although the northeast monsoon is expected to bring more-than-normal rainfall, its onset was delayed multiple times until its eventual arrival on November 1.
The reported groundwater depletion in Maharashtra is worst since 2015, which was an extensive drought year in India when 11 states including Maharashtra declared a drought.
Monsoon 2019 and brewing El Niño risks Soil moisture reduction due to dry spells during monsoon might become a vicious cycle.
Though it is too early to predict the impact on next year’s monsoon, it is proven that all the severe droughts in India have historically been preceded by strong El Niño conditions over the Pacific.
In fact, all droughts in the past century have followed El Niño events (although all El Niño events do not necessarily mean a drought).
Be it monsoon or El-Niño, most major weather phenomena across the globe are dependent on the heating on land and oceans.