Heavy rain in regions may take monsoon overall close to ‘normal’ | India News

NEW DELHI: The prediction of good rainfall in certain parts of the country during the remaining days of this monsoon season may turn the overall rainy season quite close to ‘normal’ even as the current deficit of 6% puts it under the ‘below normal’ category.
Heavy rainfall in certain parts of the country on Saturday and prediction of isolated heavy rainfall over sub-Himalayan West Bengal and Sikkim, Bihar, Jharkhand and the north-east and other meteorological subdivisions of all four homogeneous regions of the country in the next couple of days may possibly make the India Meteorological Department’s (IMD) initial monsoon forecast quite precise.
The IMD had initially predicted a ‘normal’ monsoon this year at 96% of the long period average (LPA) with an error margin of +/- 4%.
Though IMD had later spoken about the possibility of ‘below normal’ (90-95% of the LPA) monsoon based on the huge rainfall deficit of August linked to El Nino conditions (warming of sea surface temperatures in the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean that impacts monsoon negatively), the latest revival of monsoon rainfall this month may bridge the deficit gap to an extent.
The deficit has already been reduced from 11% early this month to 6% as on Saturday. Since monsoon rainfall between 96-104% of the LPA (average rainfall 1971-2020) is considered ‘normal’, further reduction in deficit will bring the overall seasonal (June-September) rainfall quite close to this threshold. “It would, however, be premature to say something on record at this juncture. Let’s wait for six more days. We keep our fingers crossed,” said an IMD scientist.
Revival of monsoon in September is attributed to a positive Indian Ocean Dipole and favourable Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) — an eastward moving pulse of cloud and rainfall near the equator. Though the monsoon is expected to begin its withdrawal from west Rajasthan from September 25, the monsoon season technically ends on September 30.
The overall acreage of kharif crops, meanwhile, crossed the ‘normal’ acreage (average of last five years) backed by higher sowing areas of paddy, sugarcane and coarse cereals despite the monsoon deficit. Acreage of pulses and oilseeds, however, remains a concern as both these crops reported decline in sowing areas compared to last year.


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