Monsoon at 99% of long-period average in June-September; withdrawal delayed

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October 01, 2021 2:30 AM

However, this year, the southwest monsoon is likely to start withdrawing from west Rajasthan and Punjab from October 6, which will be the second-most delayed withdrawal since 1961.

The summer crops have been breaking records continuously since the 2016-17 crop year (July-June). Monsoon is the main source of irrigation in the kharif season as farmers on 52% of the country’s cultivable land area depend on it.The summer crops have been breaking records continuously since the 2016-17 crop year (July-June). Monsoon is the main source of irrigation in the kharif season as farmers on 52% of the country’s cultivable land area depend on it.

The June-September monsoon season ended with rainfall of 99% of the long-period average (LPA) on Thursday, as against 101% (with a model error of ±4%) forecast by the India Meteorological Department (IMD).

However, this year, the southwest monsoon is likely to start withdrawing from west Rajasthan and Punjab from October 6, which will be the second-most delayed withdrawal since 1961.

Rainfall of 96-104% of LPA is considered normal.

Almost timely onset, delayed withdrawal and uneven distribution over the four-month season across different regions were highlights of this year’s monsoon. The government has estimated an all-time high food grain production of 150.5 million tonne (MT) during this kharif season, 0.6% up from last year.

The summer crops have been breaking records continuously since the 2016-17 crop year (July-June). Monsoon is the main source of irrigation in the kharif season as farmers on 52% of the country’s cultivable land area depend on it.

“The delayed withdrawal as well as an expected normal rainfall during October-December will help the winter crop sowing,” IMD director general M Mohapatra said.

In 2019, monsoon started retreating from the north-west region from October 9 and the rabi foodgrain output that year increased 7% to 153.7 MT, on-year.

Though the north-east region ended with 12% deficit in rainfall this year, it is not a concern since quantitatively the area gets much higher rainfall than other parts of the country. Other regions received normal rainfall between 96-111% of LPA. The pan-India rainfall was 24% below normal in August and 35% above normal in September.

As Gujarat, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh have received very high precipitation during September, experts said there could be yield losses in oilseeds and pulses as excessive rain adversely affects these crops ready for harvesting. Soyabean crop was damaged in many parts of Madhya Pradesh due to excess rain in September 2019 and 2020.

The weather department has allayed apprehension of high rainfall in September becoming the new normal, despite this occurring for the third consecutive year. “It need not be continuous as rainfall keeps changing,” said DS Pai, head of long-range forecast division.

Out of the 13 low pressure events that took place during the entire season, which is normal during monsoon, five were in September, Mohapatra said, which increased the rainfall in the last month of the season.

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