Mon­soon slow, but a surge on cards

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - Zia Haq Zia.haq@hin­dus­tan­times.com

NEW DELHI: The June-Septem­ber mon­soon has been slow and 25% be­low av­er­age un­til June 15, de­lay­ing sow­ing, but fore­cast­ers say that’s just a tem­po­rary glitch.

In­stead, a rain­fall surge is on the cards in the sec­ond half of June, af­ter which rains are ex­pected to quicken its spread across the rest of the coun­try.

Pre­dic­tions by the state-run In­dia Me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal Depart­ment said a sur­plus mon­soon was ex­pected this year.

Though it made a de­layed start on June 8, the rains steadily pro­gressed over south In­dia. How­ever, in other parts of the coun­try, it is be­hind sched­ule.

In the first 15 days of the rainy sea­son, only south In­dia recorded sur­plus rain­fall of 12%, while show­ers in cen­tral, north­west and east­ern parts have been de­fi­cient, rang­ing be­tween 14% and 46%.

This means the rains have yet to suf­fi­ciently drench droughthit ar­eas in cen­tral and western states, de­spite in­ter­mit­tent pre-mon­soon show­ers, caus­ing dis­ap­point­ment. Af­ter two years of drought that stoked ru­ral dis­tress, mil­lions of farm­ers await the show­ers to start sum­mer sow­ing.

For In­dia, the rains are vi­tal for it is an im­por­tant source of drink­ing wa­ter, power gen­er­a­tion and agri­cul­ture.

That aside, two-thirds of Indians de­pend on farm-linked in­come.

A mon­soon-boost­ing, wind­cloud weather pat­tern known as the Mad­den–Ju­lian Os­cil­la­tion, one which sweeps the trop­ics and dra­mat­i­cally en­hances pre­cip­i­ta­tion, is likely to push rains across In­dia.

CON­TIN­UED ON P11

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