Monsoon update: Above normal rainfall likely in September, says Met Dept

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September 02, 2021 3:45 AM

“Above normal to normal rainfall is likely to happen over many areas of central India,” IMD’s director general M Mohapatra said on Wednesday releasing an update of the monsoon forecast for September. “We can expect some areas to have crop damage due to heavy rainfall, but it is difficult to identify those areas as of now,” he said.

rainfall in indiaAs per the extended range forecast of the weather bureau, the rainfall will start to decline from the fourth week of the month, potentially delaying monsoon withdrawal that starts normally from September 17 from northwest India before complete withdrawal on October 15.

After facing deficient monsoon for two successive months, farmers in some states may have to witness crop damage due to heavy rainfall as India Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted above-normal rains for September, quantitatively 115% of the long-period average (LPA).

“Above normal to normal rainfall is likely to happen over many areas of central India,” IMD’s director general M Mohapatra said on Wednesday releasing an update of the monsoon forecast for September. “We can expect some areas to have crop damage due to heavy rainfall, but it is difficult to identify those areas as of now,” he said.

Rainfall over many areas of northwest and northeast India is likely to be below normal, according to IMD. The south peninsula may also have above normal rain during September, though its probability is not established. As per the extended range forecast of the weather bureau, the rainfall will start to decline from the fourth week of the month, potentially delaying monsoon withdrawal that starts normally from September 17 from northwest India before complete withdrawal on October 15.

The country had received 24% below normal rainfall in August, the lowest since 2005 when the deficit was 25% for the month. The pan-India deficit was 7% in July while June had 10% above normal rain. July and August together have a 62% share in 88 cm LPA for the entire season. The weather bureau had predicted 99% of LPA for August.

After its two-day delayed onset on June 3, the monsoon this year covered the entire country on July 13, five days behind the normal schedule. The weather bureau in June predicted this year seasonal rainfall to be normal and quantitatively 101% of LPA, with a model error of ±4%. But, the IMD DG on Wednesday said that the seasonal rainfall was very likely to be around the lower end of the normal. The rainfall between 96% and 104% of LPA during the June-September monsoon season is considered ‘normal’. Monsoon rainfall across the country has so far been 91% of LPA since June 1.

“Even if the prediction for September comes true, the seasonal rainfall will be below 96% as the deficit was very wide in August. However, the distribution of rainfall is key to crops’ growth as most parts do not need rains after mid-September,” said a former agriculture commissioner. He suggested states make arrangements for water drainage to avert inundation in case of heavy precipitation, particularly for pulses and soybean crops in Madhya Pradesh and parts of Maharashtra.

Mohapatra said that IMD’s August forecast was correct as below normal rainfall over many parts of central India, Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh and Punjab and normal to above normal rainfall over many parts of south-east India, north-east, foothill of the Himalayas and north-west of Madhya Pradesh were observed. However, below-normal rainfall over many parts of Gujarat and Odisha could not be predicted, he added.

A stalled monsoon for three weeks till July 11 had adversely impacted sowing, but there was a pick-up of the activities after that. Sown areas crossed 99% of the season’s normal acreage of 107.3 million hectares as of August 27 as against 97.3% a week before; of course, the area under crops was still 1.8% below the year-ago level. Newly harvested Kharif crops start arriving in mandis from mid-September, though harvesting season begins from October 1.

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