Fresh spell may delay end of monsoon in northwest

Updated on Sep 12, 2022 04:34 AM IST

Widespread and heavy rainfall is expected over parts of northwest India, including Uttarakhand and east Rajasthan.

A man rides a two-wheeler in the rain in Ahmedabad. (AP)
A man rides a two-wheeler in the rain in Ahmedabad. (AP)
ByJayashree Nandi, New Delhi

Monsoon withdrawal from northwest India is likely to be delayed with widespread and heavy rainfall expected over parts of northwest India, including Uttarakhand and east Rajasthan, around September 15, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Sunday.

The normal date for beginning of monsoon withdrawal is September 17.

Last year, the monsoon began its retreat after mid-October and it had withdrawn from the country by October 25, the seventh most delayed withdrawal since 1975, the IMD had said. The normal date for complete withdrawal of the monsoon from the country is October 15.

A depression has currently formed over south Odisha and it is likely to move west-northwestwards across south Odisha and south Chhattisgarh during the next 24 hours and weaken gradually, the IMD said on Sunday.

The monsoon trough is running south of its normal position. It is likely to remain so during the next three days. A cyclonic circulation is lying over the east-central Arabian Sea off the south Maharashtra-Goa coast at lower tropospheric levels.

The southwest monsoon retreated on or after October 25 five times between 2010 and 2021 — in 2017, 2010, 2016, 2020 and 2021, IMD data shows.

As of Sunday, monsoon rain was 5% above normal, with 34% excess rain over peninsular India, 15% excess over central India, 18% deficient over east and northeast India and 7% deficient over northwest India. Paddy growing states in the Indo-Gangetic plains continue to record a large deficiency in rainfall, with east and west Uttar Pradesh both recording 47% deficiency since June 1; Bihar 36%; Jharkhand 27%; Gangetic West Bengal 29%; and the Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura region recording 27% rain deficiency. Delhi has a 39% rain deficiency and Punjab has a 20% deficiency.

Rice output could dip by up to 12 million tonnes (MT) due to a partial drought but the country will still have a surplus of the staple, a senior official said on Friday, a day after the government curbed exports to put a lid on rising cereal prices.

With the formation of the depression over south Odisha, an active monsoon spell is expected over peninsular India, central India and parts of northwest India during this week, IMD officials said.

“Monsoon withdrawal will be delayed. There are no signs of withdrawal. In fact, a spell of rain is expected over northwest India round September 15. There is widespread rain already over Gujarat, Gangetic West Bengal, and Odisha. During the next couple of days, Telangana, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh will get widespread rain as the depression moves. After this depression passes, again another low-pressure area or more cyclonic circulations are expected to form which will also bring rain to different regions,” said M Mohapatra, director general, IMD.

“Monsoon withdrawal always begins from the northwest part of the country. The first and foremost condition to announce monsoon withdrawal is rainfall should stop completely for about five days, there should be significant reduction in moisture and anticyclone flow should be established,” K Sathi Devi, head of the National Weather Forecasting Centre, had said last year when the monsoon withdrawal began late.

Under the influence of the depression and other meteorological features, widespread rainfall with isolated heavy rain and thunderstorm/lightning is very likely over Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Vidarbha and East Madhya Pradesh till September 13; West Madhya Pradesh, the ghat areas of Maharashtra, Konkan, Goa and Gujarat region during the next five days; Gangetic West Bengal and Saurashtra and Kutch till September 14; Sub-Himalayan West Bengal, Sikkim and Jharkhand till September 14; Bihar on September 13 and 14; and Marathwada on Monday.

Isolated “very heavy” rainfall is also likely over Gangetic West Bengal and Chhattisgarh on Monday; east Madhya Pradesh till September 13; West Madhya Pradesh during September 13 and 15; Gujarat till September 15; and the ghat areas of Maharashtra, Konkan and Goa during the next five days.

Widespread rainfall with isolated heavy rain and thunderstorm/lightning is very likely over Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Karaikal, Kerala and Mahe, Coastal and north interior Karnataka and Telangana on Monday. Isolated heavy rain and thunderstorm/lightning are very likely over Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura till September 17 and Arunachal Pradesh on September 13 and 14.

Isolated heavy rain and thunderstorm/lightning are also very likely over Uttarakhand during the next five days; Himachal Pradesh on September 15 and east Rajasthan during September 13 to 15. Isolated “very heavy” rainfall is also likely over Uttarakhand on September 14 and 15 and east Rajasthan on September 15.

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