Dry spell set to end, IMD predicts rain from August 20

  • According to weather experts, a break monsoon is a phase of the south-west monsoon, when there is a stoppage in the monsoon rain. This pause could last a couple of days or even extend for a fortnight.
Visitors caught in the rain at Janpath market, in New Delhi last week. (Raj K Raj / Hindustan Times))
Visitors caught in the rain at Janpath market, in New Delhi last week. (Raj K Raj / Hindustan Times))
Published on Aug 17, 2021 06:54 AM IST
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ByVatsala Shrangi, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

After a week-long break phase, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted that the monsoon in Delhi may revive with a good spell of rain likely on August 20.

According to IMD scientists, break monsoon conditions are still prevailing in the northwest region, including Delhi, and are likely to remain till at least August 18. “In the absence of any intense pressure system, the break phase of the monsoon is continuing. However, a cyclonic circulation is expected over Madhya Pradesh around August 19, with which easterly winds will blow over Delhi and may result in rain,” said Kuldeep Srivastava, head of IMD’s regional weather forecasting centre.

According to weather experts, a break monsoon is a phase of the south-west monsoon, when there is a stoppage in the monsoon rain. This pause could last a couple of days or even extend for a fortnight.

Srivastava added that Delhi is likely to see thunder activity from August 19 night, followed by ‘light to moderate’ rainfall on August 20.

The first fortnight of August has largely been dry with the city receiving less than half the rain considered normal for this time of the year. Monsoon entered a break phase in Delhi from August 9, and the city has not received any rainfall since. Delhi last received rain on August 8.

IMD records show that the Safdarjung observatory, considered to be representative of Delhi’s weather, has received only 63.2mm rain till August 16, leaving a deficit of 56%. Under normal circumstances, it gets 142.4 mm rainfall by this time.

“So far, August has a rain deficit of 56%, with the dry spell ranging over a week. This, however, may get covered with just one or two good spells of rain,” said Srivastava.

He added that if one looks at the cumulative rainfall received during the monsoon so far, Delhi still has a surplus rainfall of 45%. This is mainly because July received short and intense spells of rain with the cumulative rainfall for the month reaching 507.1mm, against the normal precipitation of 210.6mm. Since June 1, Delhi has received 605.1mm rainfall. The monsoon season lasts from June 1 to September 30 in the Capital.

Explaining that this kind of weather normally does not prevail in August, as Delhi receives maximum rainfall during this month, Srivastava said it was mainly because of the “break” phase that a dry spell occurred during this time. “Break phase is a normal phenomenon during monsoon and at times can occur twice in the season,” he said.

While IMD officials said that they are not giving long-range forecasts as they are not entirely accurate, they hinted that Delhi is likely to have a ‘near normal’ monsoon. A cumulative rainfall of 648.9mm during the season is considered a ‘normal’ monsoon. “The few intense spells in July have already covered more than half of the season’s normal rainfall amount. A few good spells during August may help Delhi get normal precipitation or even more,” said a senior IMD official who did not wish to be named.

This is the second break phase of the monsoon in Delhi. The monsoon arrived in Delhi on July 13, at least 16 days behind schedule. The IMD had in June predicted that monsoon will arrive in the Capital by June 15. However later, it revised its forecast and said that break monsoon conditions had developed, which delayed the onset.

Independent forecasters too said that the second half of the month could be better and may cover up for the first half.

Mahesh Palawat, vice president of Skymet, a private forecaster, said the monsoon trough is likely to shift back to south and result in light to moderate showers in northwest India, including Delhi, Punjab and Haryana on August 19. “A low-pressure system is being formed in the Bay of Bengal, which will move over parts of central India such as Madhya Pradesh. With this, the trough is likely to move south and bring rainfall in Delhi and surrounding region,” said Palawat.

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Wednesday, December 01, 2021