Rainiest August in 44 yrs, 25% excess over the usual

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | ByJayashree Nandi
Aug 29, 2020 02:44 AM IST

According to the data, there was an overall 25% excess rain in August across India, a level not seen since 1976 when the country received 28.4% more rain than is usual for this time of the year.

India this year has recorded the rainiest August in 44 years, data from the India Meteorological Department (IMD) shows, filling up agricultural reservoirs and recharging groundwater across large parts of the country in what could help the prospects of farmers for the next cropping season.

Flooding at Manikarnika Ghat in Varanasi.(RajeshKumar/ht photo)
Flooding at Manikarnika Ghat in Varanasi.(RajeshKumar/ht photo)

According to the data, there was an overall 25% excess rain in August across India, a level not seen since 1976 when the country received 28.4% more rain than is usual for this time of the year.

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Districts in central India, the southern peninsula and in the west are now in severely or extremely wet categories, as measured by the standard precipitation index (SPI) for the cumulative monsoon period since June 1.“More wet districts are a sign that it’s a good year for agriculture and groundwater recharge. The rainwater harvesting potential is also huge for these districts and this will also ensure more water availability until next year,” said Pulak Guhathakurta, head, climate application and user interface, climate research and services at IMD Pune.

SPI is an index used for drought monitoring. Many parts of northwest India and east India remain in dry and moderately dry categories.

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The largest excess rain recorded in the month of August till now has been in 1926 at 33%.

Overall monsoon rain this year is 8% excess so far, with 23% excess rain over south peninsula; 16% excess over central India; 12% deficient over north-west India, and 4% excess over east and north-east India. The monsoon season runs from beginning of June to September end.

The Central Water Commission’s (CWC) storage position of dams now shows that 34 of 49 reservoirs are at 90% capacity.

“For most districts, except a few in Gujarat which are inundated, rain has been good for agriculture. This will give a boost to agriculture in the coming Rabi season also. Except Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh and west Uttar Pradesh where rains are deficient, rest are in excess or normal category,” said Mahesh Palawat, vice president, climate change and meteorology, Skymet Weather.

IMD in its weekly update on Friday said there will be above average rains at least for the week till September 3 but rains are likely to reduce thereafter.

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As on Friday, there is a well-marked low-pressure area over north Chhattisgarh adjoining East Madhya Pradesh. It is very likely to move west-north-west across north Madhya Pradesh and south Uttar Pradesh during next 2 days and weaken gradually, the IMD said in its Friday morning bulletin.

The western end of the monsoon trough – a band of low pressure -- is at its near normal position that stretches from Ganganagar to Bay of Bengal, while the eastern end is a south of its normal position. The western end is likely to remain along its normal position during next 2 days and shift northwards to the foothills of Himalayas for the subsequent 4-5 days. Due to favourable conditions, widespread rain with very heavy rain is likely over Vidarbha and Chhattisgarh on August 28; over West Madhya Pradesh on 28 and 29; over Gujarat state and Konkan and Goa on August 29.

Widespread and extremely heavy rain is very likely over east Madhya Pradesh on August 28, while heavy rain is also likely over northwest India including Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi on August 28 and 29.

IMD scientists have warned of mudslides and flooding in parts of central India since the soil is already saturated in the regions.

“After a peculiar July when no low pressure system developed over Bay of Bengal, five low pressure systems developed over Bay of Bengal in August. Two of them moved upto south Rajasthan bringing heavy rain continuously in its way,” said RK Jenamani, senior scientist at national weather forecasting centre.

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