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Monsoon may weaken, heatwave to intensify

ByJayashree Nandi, New Delhi
Jun 13, 2024 07:18 AM IST

Large swathes of northwestern and eastern have already clocked temperatures significantly higher than normal for the past two or three days

The progress of monsoon is likely to weaken over the next week and consequently intensify heatwave conditions over northwest and eastern India, meteorologists said on Tuesday.

A man offers water to another on a hot summer day, near the Taj Mahal in Agra, on Wednesday. (PTI)
A man offers water to another on a hot summer day, near the Taj Mahal in Agra, on Wednesday. (PTI)

“Models are not suggesting much rainfall, especially over north India over the next six or eight days. We cannot expect much rainfall over northwestern India now. This happens at times, and monsoon may pick up only by the end of June,” said M Rajeevan, meteorologist and former secretary of the Union ministry of earth sciences .

Large swathes of northwestern and eastern have already clocked temperatures significantly higher than normal for the past two or three days. Moreover, since June 1, there has been a 1% deficiency in monsoon rainfall, with a 49% deficiency over northwest India; 31% over east and northeast India; 1% over central India. Southern peninsular India, meanwhile, has recorded 69% excess rain.

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IMD however did not officially confirm that monsoon is weakening. “It’s too early to say when monsoon will reach the northwest,” said M Mohapatra, director general, IMD.

“Monsoon progress over northwest India may be slow. Models predict below normal rainfall over northwest India in June. But we do not have the forecast immediately on how the monsoon will progress over the north,” Mohapatra had said on May 27.

Skymet, a private weather forecast, concurred.

“There will be a monsoon lull for the next three or four days at least. Rainfall will reduce over Telangana, Rayalaseema, rest of peninsular India,” said Mahesh Palawat, vice-president of climate and meteorology at Skymet Weather.

“It is already weak over east India. Progress may pick up again over east India around May 16 and 17. As a result, temperatures will rise over east India, including Jharkhand, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and northwest India. Hot, dry westerly winds are expected to blow over the region,” he said.

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The progress of the crucial weather system also halted for nearly a week in early June last year, owing to the impact of cyclone Biparjoy. Monsoon current advanced to the south Andaman Sea and Nicobar Islands in time (on 19th May, 3 days ahead of its normal date). However, further advance thereafter was sluggish. It set in over Kerala on 8th June, 7 days behind the normal date and covered the entire country by 2nd July, 6 days ahead of normal date. On June 23, the northern limit of monsoon (NLM), or the peak of the monsoon line, had only covered peninsular and part of east India but in the next two days the monsoon had covered nearly the entire country last year.

With 47% of the country’s population dependent on agriculture for their livelihood, a bountiful monsoon has a direct correlation with a healthy rural economy. Earlier, the Met department in its long-range forecast issued on April 15 said monsoon rain over the country between June and September will likely be “above normal”, at 106% of the long-period average, with a model error of ± 5%.

Monsoon weakened after setting in over Maharashtra on June 9, meteorologists said. “Except the west coast, rainfall will reduce over the rest of the country for the next few days,” Palawat added.

Meanwhile, the monsoon has advanced further into Maharashtra, all of Telangana and some more parts of Chhattisgarh on Wednesday.

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The northern limit of monsoon is now passing through Navsari, Jalgaon, Amravati, Chandrapur, Bijapur, Sukma, Malkangiri, Vizianagaram and Islampur. Conditions are favourable for its further advance into some more parts of Odisha, coastal Andhra and northwest Bay of Bengal over the next three or four days.

Meanwhile, heatwave to severe conditions prevailed over several parts of Uttar Pradesh, in isolated pockets of south Bihar, Jharkhand, Gangetic West Bengal, Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi and in isolated pockets of Uttarakhand, north Rajasthan, Odisha and northeast Madhya Pradesh.

On Wednesday, heatwave conditions observed in most parts of Punjab, Haryana-Chandigarh-Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand; in many parts of north Rajasthan; in some parts of Himachal Pradesh, south Bihar, north Odisha and in isolated pockets of Gangetic West Bengal. Severe heatwave conditions also observed in isolated pockets of Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Jharkhand & Gangetic West Bengal.

The maximum temperatures are in the range of 45-47°C over some parts of west Jharkhand, south Uttar Pradesh, Haryana-Chandigarh-Delhi, Punjab, north Rajasthan. The highest maximum temperature of 47.5°C is reported at Kanpur IAF (East Uttar Pradesh) over the country.

The weather office said heatwave to severe heatwave conditions are likely in parts of Uttar Pradesh till June 16 and over Gangetic West Bengal, Bihar and Jharkhand till June 14.

Heat wave conditions are very likely in isolated to some pockets of Uttarakhand, Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh and Delhi over the next five days, northeast Madhya Pradesh, northwest Rajasthan till June 14; northeast Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu Division and Odisha on June 13.

IMD has issued a red category warning for Bihar on June 13, Jharkhand on June 13 and 14; East Uttar Pradesh till June 16, west Uttar Pradesh till June 16.

It has also issued an orange alert for Bihar on June 14; Jharkhand on June 15; Haryana-Chandigarh-Delhi, Punjab, Gangetic West Bengal on June 13.

A red category warning implies that local authorities need to act to prevent heat related emergencies. In red category warning areas, there is a very high likelihood of developing heat illness and heat stroke in all ages. Extreme care needed for vulnerable people, IMD has warned.

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