Of the dozens of forecasting techniques proffered by government, academic, and private-sector climatologists, all but two are virtually worthless, according to a new study.

Maharashtra in the grip of severest drought since 1972 maharashtra seems to be heading towards a drought-year. On July 9, the state government declared a

N. Gopal Raj

Researchers are noticing changes in the established patterns of monsoon rainfall.

still Hopeful: The contribution of July rainfall to the annual rainfall showed a marked decline.

Last year, heavy rains in southern India led to the south-west monsoon ending with above-average nationwide rainfall. In striking contrast, this year large parts of the south as well as Maharashtra and Gujarat are suffering a drought. While June ended with surplus rains for the country as a whole, poor rains in July have pushed the national average into a deficit.

By Narayan Bareth

Jaipur, July 18: Priests and scholars in Jaipur are still using astronomical instruments at the centuries-old Jantar Mantar observatory to predicts the monsoon. The pandits gathered at the observatory on Thursday evening and predicted good rainfall, but said the monsoon would be fragmented.

Nagesh Prabhu BANGALORE: With monsoon becoming weak and drought looming large over Karnataka, the government has extended the weather-based crop insurance scheme to five more districts, covering 12 crops this kharif season.

GANDHINAGAR: Faced with sparse rainfall, the Gujarat government has decided to wait for another week, in the hope that the flagging monsoon would revive during this period, before taking a call on declaring the state drought-hit. A special meeting held by agriculture minister Dilip Sanghani observed that there was "nothing to worry about delay in rains as of now'. However, if the monsoon remains elusive for another week, an action plan to fight an impending drought will be announced.

The monsoon should have been in full swing across Andhra Pradesh in the first week of July. But a prolonged dry spell has raised fears of a failed monsoon with 37 to 47 per cent deficient rainfall and failed crops. Three regions

The Tea Research Association has maintained that the reported loss of tea crop this year cannot be attributed to the infestation by Helopeltis (commonly referred to as the tea mosquito bug) alone. Unfavourable weather conditions have played a part, too, in the production loss, said TRA director Dr Mridul Hazarika at a press conference held at the Cinnamara-based Tocklai Experimental Station here on Wednesday.

Tanushree Roy Chowdhury | TNN New Delhi: It's now official: last month was the coolest June in the recorded history of the capital. The average maximum temperature

A 5-year-old was killed when strong winds blew over a row of tents at an Alabama air show during storms that stretched across the South on Sunday while severe weather caused airport delays in the East, officials said. The winds that toppled the tents and canceled the air show in Huntsville came during an isolated strong thunderstorm that developed just west of the airport with gusts of 48 mph, said Tim Troutman of the National Weather Service. Witnesses told The Huntsville Times that a generator fell on the child Sunday. The death was confirmed by the Madison County coroner's office.