Drought -- National Drought Mitigation Center


Date of this Version

June 1994


Published in Drought Network News June 1994. Published by the International Drought Information Center and the National Drought Mitigation Center, School of Natural Resources, University of Nebraska – Lincoln.


Peninsular India is located in the tropics; its climate ranges from arid conditions in the rain shadow region (under the influence of Eastern Ghats along the east coast and Western Ghats along the west coast) to humid conditions in regions adjoining the west coast. The average annual rainfall in the region varies from about 500 mm in the interior parts to more than 3000 mm on the crest of Western Ghats. The rainy season commences during the month of June because of the onset of the southwest monsoon near the tip of peninsular India. The southwest monsoon ends during September. The rainy season continues up to the end of November because of the northeast monsoon in the southeastern parts of peninsular India. Crop production under rainfed conditions in the arid and semiarid regions is often affected by droughts during the monsoon season because of prolonged dry spells associated with break monsoon conditions. Sometimes, heavy rainfall occurs even in the drier regions because of severe cyclonic activity in the Bay of Bengal. Rainwater management is crucial for improving productivity, particularly during the years of drought. Therefore the daily rainfall data of two typical locations representing both arid and semiarid climates were analyzed to evolve the basis for rainwater management to improve crop production in drylands.

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