The southwest monsoon may have bid farewell to Punjab, Delhi and parts of Haryana for the year, but it is likely to stay a little longer over the Indo-Gangetic Plains, according to the India Meteorological Department (IMD).
In its latest forecast, the IMD said it is expecting a fresh system (cyclonic circulation) to brew over Bay of Bengal on Saturday, which is expected to keep the monsoon active. Post its formation, the system is likely to emerge over Odisha around October 3, then move towards Uttar Pradesh.
This could lead to another spell of heavy rain initially over Odisha, and then Madhya Pradesh, East Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and parts of Bihar around October 5. According to the meteorologists, Punjab may remain dry during the period, but scattered spells of rain cannot be ruled out for Delhi.
A delayed monsoon and a heavy spell of rain in October may not augur well for the paddy-sowing Indo-Gangetic plains, where farmers are now gearing up to harvest the paddy. The harvesting has already been delayed due to the heavy rain last week.
Usually, the withdrawal commences from West Rajasthan by September 17, and the exit is by October 15. However, this time, it is likely to take much longer. According to IMD, the monsoon may not withdraw from major parts of Central India until October 13. Currently, the withdrawal line of the southwest monsoon passes through Jammu, Una, Chandigarh, Karnal, Delhi, Alwar, Jodhpur, and Nalia in Kutch, Gujarat.
Rain during the withdrawal of monsoon may come as a surprise, but according to IMD Chief M Mohapatra it is normal. “The withdrawal of monsoon is not just a dry period. It happens when there is a reversal of the wind direction and formation of anti-cyclone – both of which have occurred over West Rajasthan, Punjab and Delhi. But if a new system forms in Bay of Bengal, or a western disturbance impacts the plains, it could also bring rain,” he said.
2022 has been a “very good” monsoon year for the country with seasonal rain 6.4% above the long-period average (LPA), said Mohapatra on Friday. The weather department had predicted a normal monsoon with 99% to 103% of LPA at the start of the season.
“After a sluggish start till June 15, there were no clear breaks in the monsoon for the entire season. There were four low-pressure systems in July and August each, and three in September, which kept the monsoon active. In fact, this year, we had 66 days of low-pressure system of the total 122 days,” said the IMD DG.
Except for North-Eastern states, where the deficit stood at a staggering 18%, the rain was above normal over Northwest India by 1%, Central India by 19% and south peninsular India by 22%. However, in terms of states, the entire Indo-Gangetic plains, stretching from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar till West Bengal, have been deprived of good rain, which is likely to impact the overall crop production.
In terms of sub-divisional area, 43% of country’s area has witnessed normal rain, while 40%, largely covering southern states, got excess rain. The monsoon has been deficient in the rest 17%, mainly comprising UP, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Mizoram, Tripura and Manipur.
Excess Rain In October
According to IMD, most parts of the country, except for small pockets of the southernmost region and J&K, are likely to witness good rain even in October. The forecast suggests that the monthly rainfall over the country as a whole during October is expected to be normal to above normal – in fact more than 115% of the LPA of 75.4 mm.
Rain Bounty For South India
After surplus rain during June to September, the southern states may continue to witness good rain during the coming months as well. The North-East monsoon, from October to November, is the primary rainy season for southern peninsula and brings rain over five meteorological subdivisions — Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Karaikkal, Coastal Andhra Pradesh and Yanam, Rayalaseema, Kerala and Mahe and South Interior Karnataka.
As per IMD, the three-month season is likely to be normal (88-112%) of the LPA.
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