New Delhi: June saw a rainfall deficit of 33%, making it the fifth driest month of June in the past 100 years. Maharashtra alone has seen a 50% shortfall. However, Met officials say there are indications of good rains in the first half of July. (Also read: Wall Collapse Due to Rain Kills 17 in Pune)

A leading daily pointed out that rainfall across India in June was at 112.1 mm as against 166.9mm, which is normal according to the India Meteorological Department. This has happened only four times in the past 100 years. The IMD records show that in 2009, it was 85.7mm, in 2014 95.4, in 1926 98.7mm and in 1923 at 102mm.

Of the 36 meteorological sub-divisions in the country, 30 registered deficient (lower than 20% below normal) or large deficient (60% or less below normal) rainfall during the month. So monsoon will have to perform at above 102% of average over the next three months to finish at 96%, the lower end of the normal range which was IMD’s forecast for it this year.

According to the Central Water Commission’s update of last week, reservoirs in Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra were at critically low levels. Reservoir levels across south India were also running very low: Joint Andhra-Telangana projects at 52% below normal, Tamil and Kerala 47% below normal and both Karnataka and Telangana at 36%. Gujarat reservoirs were at 23% below the normal level.

However, a low-pressure system that has formed in the Bay of Bengal could augur well for the country. “This system is set to move inland and bring good rainfall over central India as well as some parts of east and north. Monsoon will most likely cover entire central India in the next few days and move into north India from its current position over east UP and Uttarakhand under the influence of this system,” IMD forecaster D Sivananda Pai was quoted as saying.

Meanwhile, IMD has issued red alerts for very heavy falls at several sub-divisions, including Odisha, Chhattisgarh, east MP, Vidarbha and Telangana over the next three-four days. Private forecaster Skymet has also predicted a monsoon surge in the first half of July.