After a break of more than a week, the southwest monsoon has progressed into Goa and parts of Konkan and Karnataka, India Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Friday.
The met department has forecast that monsoon will move into south Maharashtra, Karnataka, parts of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu in the next two days. Rains would cover the whole of Karnataka, parts of Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh in the subsequent two days.
IMD also forecast that an intense spell of rain is likely to continue over West Bengal and Sikkim during the next five days.
“Monsoon active phase may start from June 17 and rainfall during the month of June will be normal,” M Ravichandran, secretary, ministry of earth sciences, told FE. During June 1 and 10, the cumulative average monsoon rainfall was 20.5 mm, which was 42% less than the normal volume of 35.5 mm.
Of the 36 subdivisions of IMD, only five have received normal or excess rainfall while 26 have received deficient or largely deficient monsoon rain so far. The rest have received no rainfall.
Cumulative deficiency in rain over the south peninsula was reported at 36%, while east and northeast regions have monsoon rainfall deficiency of only 4%. Northwest India and central India have rainfall deficiency of 92% and 82%, respectively.
On May 31, the met department said monsoon rains this year will be more than what it had forecast in April at 103% of the benchmark long-period average (LPA), with 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.
If the forecast holds good, India will receive normal monsoon rainfall for the fourth year in a row.
With the progress of monsoon, kharif crops such as paddy, pulses, oilseeds and coarse cereals sowing activities have commenced. According to agriculture ministry data, kharif crops till Friday have been sown on 6.52 million hectare, which is around 22% less than the corresponding period last year. Agriculture ministry officials said these are early days as the window for kharif crop sowing is till the end of July.
Meanwhile, the average water level in 140 major reservoirs in the country at present is up by 7% on year, the Central Water Commission (CWC) has said. The water level is also 33% higher than the average of the last 10 years.
Reservoirs currently have 52.81 billion cubic metres (BCM) of water, which is about 30% of their combined capacity. A year ago, 49.14 BCM water was available in these reservoirs, while the average of the last 10 years is 39.58 BCM, according to the latest CWC note.