Monsoon may start withdrawing on time, but likely to be prolonged: IMD

by Times of India

NEW DELHI:

Monsoon

is likely to start withdrawing from western Rajasthan around its normal date of withdrawal from mid-September, but it won’t be swift from other parts of the country. Many parts of India will, in fact, see more rainfall from the third week of September, making the country see overall “normal to above normal” monsoon

rain

during the June-September season.

“The rainfall activity has declined in September as compared to August, but rains will revive in the next few days as fresh weather systems are developing,” said

India Meteorological Department

(

IMD

) director general Mrutyunjay Mohapatra while addressing a press conference over the progress of the southwest (summer) Monsoon which has during June 1-September 6 period recorded cumulative rainfall of 107% of the Long Period Average (LPA).

The summer monsoon rainfall of 96-104% of the LPA during Jun-September period is considered normal – a key factor to support farming and overall rural economy in the country. The LPA of seasonal rainfall over the country, based on 1961-2010 monsoon data, is 88 cm.

“Though withdrawal of monsoon may begin from extreme north-west India almost around its normal date, we are still studying as to when it’s likely to completely withdraw from the entire country,” said the IMD chief while hinting at the possibility of slightly prolonged monsoon. The normal date for monsoon to begin withdrawing from north-west India is September 17.

Monthly rainfall figures show that June had recorded 17% more rainfall above normal while July had seen 10% of deficit. The deficit was recovered completely in August which recorded 27% more rainfall above normal due to five low pressure systems, covering 27 days in that month, over north Bay of Bengal.

New low-pressure areas over the Bay of Bengal are likely to bring good rainfall over Maharashtra, Karnataka and Kerala in the remaining days of September. Other parts of the country too will get good rainfall from the third week of this month.

Except north-west India which has, so far, recorded a deficit of 1 southwest 0% of rainfall, the other parts of the country have not seen a deficit. The south peninsula has recorded 20% more rainfall above normal while central India has seen 17% more rainfall above normal. The East and north-east India recorded normal rainfall.

Only three meteorological subdivisions out of total 36 have received deficient rainfall this season. It led the country as a whole to record overall 7% more than normal rainfall till September 6.

Asked about the economic benefit of the surplus rainfall, the ministry of earth science (MoES) secretary, M Rajeevan, said, “The plentiful and spread (distribution) of southwest monsoon this year should help farmers and the output must be very good. It’ll also help Indian economy, though exact quantification cannot be made at this moment.”

Backed by good monsoon rainfall, the country has already recorded an all-time high acreage of Kharif (summer sown) crop at 1,095 lakh hectares as on last Friday which was over 6% more than the acreage of corresponding period last year. Banking on such good sowing, the Union agriculture ministry has set a target of all-time high output of foodgrain in the country.

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