Monsoon starts withdrawing, rain 9% below normal
Met dept says distribution of rainfall was good
The southwest monsoon has started withdrawing from west Rajasthan and the Kutch region of Gujarat, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Saturday, marking the end of its fourmonth journey over India.
The season is expected to end with a cumulative rainfall deficiency of 9 per cent. This means the country registered belownormal rainfall in 2018, contrary to the IMD’s forecast of normal rain. Twelve of the 36 meteorological subdivisions recorded deficient rainfall, while the rest witnessed normal to excess rain. In total, 38 per cent of the 662 districts received below-normal rain.
“In view of anti-cyclone established over Rajasthan and adjoining areas in the lower tropospheric levels, along with substantial reduction in moisture content over Rajasthan and adjoining areas, and dry weather conditions over most parts of west Rajasthan and Kutch, the southwest monsoon has withdrawn from some parts of Rajasthan, Kutch and north Arabian Sea, today (Saturday),” the met department said.
The monsoon, it said, would withdraw from the remaining parts of Rajasthan, some parts of Punjab, Haryana (including Delhi), Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and some more parts of Gujarat and the north Arabian Sea during the next 2-3 days.
The monsoon usually starts withdrawing from September 1, but this year it has been delayed by almost a month.
Though the cumulative monsoon rainfall was almost 9 per cent less than normal this year, the worst since 2015, Met department officials said the timeline and distribution of
rain was good, which prevented any major let-down in sowing.
However, several districts in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh are facing drought and if it doesn't rain properly in the winter, there could be severe water scarcity.
The overall foodgrain production this kharif season is estimated at a record 141 million tonnes, mainly due to good rice output.
The IMD, meanwhile, also issued the operational forecast for the 2018 northeast monsoon season, which causes 30 per cent of the annual rainfall, largely confined to southern parts of the country.
Rainfall over south Peninsula (Tamil Nadu, Coastal Andhra Pradesh, Rayalaseema, Kerala and South Interior Karnataka) is most likely to be normal (89-111 per cent of the long period average (LPA)) with a tendency to be in the positive side of the normal, it said.
The LPA of the northeast monsoon rainfall over the south Peninsula for the base period, 1951-2000, is 332.1 mm.