Monsoon slow, but a surge on cards
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