The first month of the June-September monsoon season has recorded rains 10% above normal with each of the four regions — East and North-East, North-West, Central and South Peninsular — reporting surplus precipitation. However, the surplus rains could not help sowing activities as monsoon has been stalled since June 19 and is unlikely to revive before July 7, as per latest forecast.
For the country as a whole, cumulative rainfall during this year’s southwest monsoon season’s rainfall until June 30 has been about 10% above the Long Period Average (LPA) with actual rainfall recorded at 18.29 cm against normal of 16.69 cm, India Meteorological Department (IMD) said in a statement.
“Advance of southwest monsoon into remaining parts of Rajasthan, Delhi, Haryana and Punjab is not likely till 7th July,” IMD said. The stalled monsoon was mainly due to impact mid-latitude westerly winds, unfavourable Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO) and absence of formation of low pressure system over north Bay of Bengal.
“The MJO currently lies in Phase 1 (equatorial eastern Africa) with amplitude more than 1. It is likely to propagate eastwards into Phase 2 (western equatorial Indian Ocean and adjoining Arabian Sea) with amplitude close to 1 by July 2 and further into Phase 3 (eastern equatorial Indian Ocean Bay of Bengal) from July 7.
Hence, the phase of MJO is likely to gradually favour enhancement of convection and cross equatorial flow over the north Indian Ocean around July 7. Model forecasts show that easterly winds from Bay of Bengal in lower tropospheric levels are not likely to be established over north-western plains of India before July 7,” the weather bureau said.
Due to stalled monsoon, the daily rainfall across the country has considerably declined. For instance, on June 29 it was 43% below normal and on June 30 it was 56% lower than average, a senior official of agriculture ministry said.
Groundnut acreage in Gujarat, the biggest producing state, has seen a drop of 19% at about 10 lakh hectare as of June 28, largely because monsoon rainfall has been 27% lower than normal in key growing Saurashtra and Kutch regions. However, cotton area has seen marginal fall of 2% at 11.46 lakh hectare as other parts of Gujarat have received almost normal rainfall.
Similarly in Maharashtra, there was 62% fall in kharif sowing area at 23 lakh hectare as on June 21 from the year-ago period. The state government had last week issued an advisory, urging farmers not to rush for kharif sowing and wait for a while to ensure adequate showers. Other states like Uttar Pradesh and Haryana have also reported fall in overall acreage as on June 21. The rainfall deficit in Kerala is as high as 36% in all districts except Kottayam reporting deficient rains.
However, sowing area of soyabean in Madhya Pradesh, the largest producer state, has been 10 times more than last year’s level at 8.17 lakh hectare as of June 21. Madhya Pradesh has received 36% more than normal rains while only nine out of 51 districts have deficient rainfall in June.