The country received “normal” rainfall during the four-month Southwest monsoon from June to September, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Thursday, even as there is an extended period of rainfall. The IMD said the Northeast monsoon, which brings rainfall to southern states from October to December, is also likely to be normal.
Mrutunjay Mohapatra, director general of IMD, said conditions were likely to be favourable for the commencement of withdrawal of the Southwest monsoon from some parts of Northwest India from around October 6. Southwest monsoon withdrawal from Northwest India normally begins from September 17.
“Quantitatively, 2021 all India monsoon seasonal rainfall during June 1 to September 30 has been 87 cm against the Long Period Average of 88 cm of 1961-2010 (99 per cent of its LPA),” Mohapatra said. “Southwest Monsoon seasonal rainfall for the country as a whole during June-September has been normal (96-106 per cent of the LPA),” he added.
This is for the third consecutive year that the country has recorded rainfall in the ‘normal’ or ‘above normal’ category. Rainfall was above normal in 2019 and 2020. Southwest monsoon is critical for the Indian economy whose GDP is still heavily dependent on agriculture and its allied activities. It is crucial for filling the reservoirs used to supply drinking water and irrigate vast swathes of land.
The rainfall over the country as a whole was 110 per cent in June, 93 and 76 per cent in July and August respectively — the months that bring the maximum rains. However, the shortfall of July and August was compensated in September, which recorded rainfall 135 per cent of the LPA. In its four divisions, the IMD said, the Southwest monsoon rainfall was normal over Northwest India (96 per cent) and central India (104 per cent), below normal over East and Northeast India (88 per cent), and above normal over South Peninsula India (111 per cent).
Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Assam, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh in the Northeast, Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, West Uttar Pradesh and Lakshadweep received deficient rainfall. West Rajasthan, Haryana, Delhi, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, North Interior Karnataka, Gangetic West Bengal, Konkan and Goa, Marathwada and Andaman and Nicobar recorded excess rainfall during the monsoon season. The Southwest monsoon made onset over Kerala on June 3, after a delay of two days. It rapidly covered central, West, East, Northeast and South India by June 15.
It also covered many parts of North India, even Barmer and Jaisalmer — its last outposts — but the monsoon winds failed to reach Delhi, parts of Haryana and West Uttar Pradesh. It then witnessed a lull. It finally covered Delhi, parts of Haryana and West Uttar Pradesh, on July 13, five days after its normal onset date, belying IMD’s forecasts.
Mohapatra said it again witnessed a lull from August 3 and entered the active phase of August 18. The month recorded large deficiency. It again entered an active phase. The season also saw formation of 13 cyclonic circulations — low pressure, well-marked low pressure area, depression, deep depression and cyclone — which are critical during the rainfall period. “It is normal to have 13 systems, but they were not uniformly distributed,” Mohapatra added.
June saw two low pressure areas, July recorded two low pressure areas (LPA) and two well-marked low pressure areas (WML). August recorded four LPAs. However, September recorded one cyclone (Gulab), one deep depression and four WML, he added.
In its forecast for the Northeast monsoon, the IMD said, Northeast monsoon 2021 is likely to be normal (89-113 per cent of the LPA). Northeast monsoon brings rains over Tamil Nadu, coastal Andhra Pradesh, Rayalseema, Kerala, South Interior Karnataka and Lakshadweep. The monthly rainfall for October 2021 over South Peninsula is most likely to be normal.
Marathwada records excess rain, records 91 rain-related deaths since June
At least 91 people have died, while over 25 lakh hectares of farmland were destroyed due to excess rainfall in Marathwada in the last four months, an official said on Wednesday. According to a report released by the divisional commissioner’s office in Marathwada, several areas in the region have faced losses due to excess rainfall between June 1 and September 28. Over 25 lakh hectares of farmland belonging to more than 35.64 lakh farmers were damaged due to heavy rains so far this year, the official said.
Marathwada is generally affected by drought and water scarcity. Even during the monsoon, the weather in this region, which has reported a high number of farmer suicides, is unpredictable. But the scenario was different this year.
Nanded was the worst-affected district in the region, where over 5.77 lakh hectares of land belonging to 8,38,645 farmers were affected, the report stated. Shiv Sena MLC Ambadas Danve, meanwhile, has written to chief minister Uddhav Thackeray demanding direct aid to farmers owning up to 2 hectares of land. In his letter to Thackeray, Danve also urged that wells damaged due to flooding be repaired through employment guarantee schemes across Marathwada.