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Monsoon Begins Retreat from Western Rajasthan; Heavy Rain Likely in North from Tomorrow: IMD

Leaving a vast stretch of Indo-Gangetic plains from Uttar Pradesh to West Bengal with a staggering rain-deficit, the southwest monsoon has begun its retreat from the far west-end of the country on Tuesday. According to the India Metrological Department (IMD), the withdrawal has started from parts of southwest Rajasthan and adjoining Kutch on September 20, four days later than its normal date of September 17.

The retreat of the monsoon is declared only after certain meteorological conditions are met in a particular state. Some of these important considerations include: no rainfall in the state during the last five days, formation of an anti-cyclonic circulation, and dry weather conditions over the region — as observed on the water vapour map imagery. As of Tuesday, the line of withdrawal of Southwest Monsoon passes through Bikaner in Rajasthan to Naliya in Gujarat.

UP, Bihar Rain-Dry

The 2022 southwest monsoon has not been kind to the rice-producing states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand as well as West Bengal, which are reeling under staggering rain-deficit, right from the start of the monsoon season in June. While Jharkhand intermittently witnessed extreme rainfall, leading to floods during August, the overall region has ended up with a deficit. This may affect the overall output of the Kharif season, which majorly includes rice — a water intensive crop. As many as seven sub-divisions remain rain-deficit till Tuesday, which also includes Punjab and north-eastern states of Tripura, Manipur, Mizoram and Nagaland.

Excess Rains in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu

Out of the total 36 sub-divisions, as many as 14 sub-divisions consisting largely of the southern peninsular states have witnessed monsoon bounty this season. The rain-shadow state of Tamil Nadu has particularly thrown up a surprise becoming one of the only two states along with Karnataka with large-excess rains to the tune of 60% above its long-period average (LPA). Both the states saw extreme urban floods.

Other large states including Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh as well as Gujarat have also ended with up excess rains. Meanwhile, the rainfall has been normal in other 15 sub-divisions, including Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Odisha, as well as coastal Andhra Pradesh.

Sub-divisional rainfall map

7% Excess Rain

Out of the total 36 sub-divisions, as many as 13 sub-divisions consisting largely of the southern peninsular states have witnessed monsoon bounty this season. The rain-shadow state of Tamil Nadu has particularly thrown up a surprise becoming one of the only two states along with Karnataka with large-excess rains to the tune of 60% above its long-period average (LPA). Both the states saw extreme urban floods.

Other large states including Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh as well as Gujarat have also ended with up excess rains. Meanwhile, the rainfall has been normal in other 16 sub-divisions, including Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Odisha, as well as coastal Andhra Pradesh.

Withdrawal of southwest monsoon
Withdrawal of southwest monsoon

More Rain Over Next 3 Days

While the monsoon has begun its retreat, it will still take some time before the system withdraws from the country as a whole, after which the overall rain assessment would be done. In its latest forecast, the IMD has predicted another low pressure system in the Bay of Bengal, which is expected to move across north Odisha and Jharkhand over the next two days and bring more rains to the region including MP, AP, Telangana as well as West Bengal.

Up in the north, a western disturbance is likely to bring isolated heavy rain and thunderstorms in Uttarakhand and parts of Uttar Pradesh on September 21. Heavy rains are also expected over north-eastern states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and Meghalaya over the next three days.

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