Sluggish progress: Monsoon rainfall 25% below normal so far

Private weather forecaster Skymet said, “The entire plains of Northwest India will see some relief from the heat and good rains will also be seen in Uttarakhand and Punjab on Friday.”

On May 31, the Met department said monsoon rains this year would be more than what it had forecast in April, at 103% of the benchmark long-period average (LPA), with an 81% chance of rainfall being either “normal” or above.
On May 31, the Met department said monsoon rains this year would be more than what it had forecast in April, at 103% of the benchmark long-period average (LPA), with an 81% chance of rainfall being either “normal” or above.

After an early onset at the Kerala coast and a period of sluggish progress thereafter, the southwest monsoon has moved to Gujarat, parts of Maharashtra, Telangana, Chhattisgarh, Odisha and south Madhya Pradesh, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Thursday.

The Met department has forecast heavy rainfall over coastal Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Kerala, Goa, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu during the next five days.

The northern region, which is reeling under a heat wave, will get some relief with rains expected in Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

Private weather forecaster Skymet said, “The entire plains of Northwest India will see some relief from the heat and good rains will also be seen in Uttarakhand and Punjab on Friday.”

The IMD also forecast that an intense spell of rain is likely to continue over West Bengal and Sikkim during the next five days.
A Met department official told FE that in the next five days, the intensity of the monsoon would increase, bringing widespread rains across several regions of the country.

During June 1-16, the cumulative average monsoon rainfall was 51.3 mm, which was 25% less than the normal volume of 68.1 mm.

Only the east-north region has received 27% more monsoon rainfall than the normal volume so far, while cumulative deficiency in rain over the southern peninsula was reported at 31%. Northwest India and central India have rainfall deficiency of 72% and 60%, respectively.

On May 31, the Met department said monsoon rains this year would be more than what it had forecast in April, at 103% of the benchmark long-period average (LPA), with an 81% chance of rainfall being either “normal” or above.

The rains will also be well-distributed spatially across the four broad regions and most parts of the country, the agency had said. In its forecast for June, the Met department has predicted a normal rainfall in the range of 92-108% of LPA.

With the progress of the monsoon, sowing activities for kharif crops such as paddy, pulses, oilseeds and coarse cereals have commenced. Agriculture ministry officials said despite the sluggish start to the monsoon rains’ progress, the window for the completion of kharif crop sowing is till the end of July.

Meanwhile, the average water level in 143 major reservoirs in the country at present is up by 5% on year, the Central Water Commission said on Thursday. The water level is also 33% higher than the average of the last 10 years.

Reservoirs currently have 51.05 billion cubic metres (BCM) of water, which is about 29% of their combined capacity. A year ago, 48.65 BCM water was available in these reservoirs, while the average of the last 10 years is 38.42 BCM, according to the latest CWC note.

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