Drop in rainfall likely to recover by next week: MFD

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Jul 20, 2017-

A sudden drop in rainfall, which has affected paddy plantation, will take some time to recover, according to the Meteorological Forecasting Division (MFD).

Decrease in normal amount of rainfall during monsoon, which started slightly late this year, has become slow since last week, troubling rice farmers across the country. 

The MFD officials say that shifting of low pressure line, also called monsoon trough, away from the country was the main reason behind  the drop in rainfall.

“We are receiving less wind with moisture from Bay of Bengal and also the monsoon trough has moved south and stuck over Gangetic plains,” said Barun Paudel, senior meteorologist at the MDF. “Rainfall during the monsoon depends on how closer the monsoon trough is to Nepal. Recently, it has drifted away from Nepal.”

Since the shifting of low pressure line, the country has been witnessing isolated rainfall in different parts. 

In the last 24 hours, places like Dadeldhura, Dhangadi and Dang in western Nepal recorded no rainfall while some other places like Dipayal, Birendranagar, Nepalgunj and Jumla received traces of rainfall. 

Eastern Nepal has also performed poorly on amount of rainfall. Okhaldhunga, Taplejung received light drizzle at best, whereas Dhankuta, Biratnagar and Jomsom remained dry. 

Jiri recorded the highest rainfall (25.2 mm) followed by Birendrangar (8.2mm). 

However, weatherman Paudel has said that such scattered rainfalls are normal during monsoon.

Paudel said the current monsoon pattern was normal.

“The country will again receive rain once the trough moves north,” he said. “The slow surge in monsoon shall likely pick up from Sunday.” 

Monsoon begins in Nepal on June 10 and stays till September 23. During the monsoon, Nepal receives its 80 per cent of rainfall with amount varying in places. A country in which nearly 70 per cent of agriculture is dependent upon rainfall, strong monsoon is the lifeline for farmers. 

Senior associate scientist with International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) Nepal Dr Bhaba Tripathi said any change in amount of rainfall has a potential to alter paddy production the year.

“Paddy plantation in hill districts, including Kathmandu Valley, should be completed in the first week of the month of Shrawan, whereas paddy plantation is done till the last week of Shrawan in the Tarai. However, it is wise to plant paddy in the first and second weeks. Otherwise, the production is estimated to go down by 10-15 per cent” Tripathi said. 

Last fiscal year, the country had recorded an all-time high paddy production with an output of 5.23 million metric tonnes, which was due to several factors including good rainfall. This year the government has set a target of producing 5.4 million metric tonnes of paddy. But that will largely depend on how the monsoon plays out. 

Published: 20-07-2017 07:38

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