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Not so soon, monsoon

delhi Updated: Sep 28, 2009 01:50 IST
Avishek G. Dastidar

First it refused to shed much rain. Now it's refusing to go away. The curious case of this year's monsoon has left the weatherman guessing.

It's almost the end of September and monsoon is still prevailing in Delhi, even though there is no rain.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD), after consulting its charts and all the weather indicators, formally calls the curtains on monsoon from various regions and also the country as a whole.

The date for Delhi usually is September 15 or thereabouts.

"The parameters needed for the withdrawal of monsoon in Delhi is still missing. It is delayed this year," said Ajit Tyagi, director-general, IMD.

"We had expected something around the 22nd of this month. But the absence of certain usual wind patterns prevented us (from declaring the withdrawal)."

Last year, too, monsoon lingered on till September 28, but this year will beat that record. And Met officials are digging the archives to see if it is a major record if monsoon lingers on till October.

"While last year's monsoon stayed on longer than expected, it was also a very good monsoon, almost 100 mm more rainfall than expected. Contrary to that, this year rain was scarce," said a Met official.

This year, Delhi's monsoon rainfall tally is just a 5 per cent deficit from the normal figure.

But 50 per cent of this year's total 588 mm rainfall has occurred over three days of rain, one each in July, August and September, 126 mm, 74.4 mm and 93.8 mm respectively.

In the absence of rain in the lingering monsoon, the mercury is heading north, making some unseasonably muggy days.

The minimum and maximum temperatures have started hovering around three degrees above the expected mark, making this an uncharacteristically warm September.

The forecaster sees no respite from the heat in the next 48 hours as the mercury is expected to stay put near the 36-degree mark, the Met department said.

As for the withdrawal of monsoon, the weatherman is still gazing the charts.

" We expect to draw the curtains on Delhi's monsoon in a few days," said Tyagi .