The India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Friday said the southwest monsoon is all set to withdraw, even as the deficiency in the cumulative rainfall for the season as a whole increased marginally from 20 to 21 per cent over the past week.

In a press release, the IMD said the monsoon was likely to start withdrawing from west Rajasthan in about four to five days.

But, fairly widespread rainfall activity was likely over northeast and south peninsular India and scattered rainfall was expected over Gangetic West Bengal and coastal Orissa.

Repeated estimates

In the original forecast issued in April, the IMD predicted that the rainfall for the country as a whole and for the entire season would be 96 per cent of the long period average (LPA). It was subsequently downgraded to 93 per cent in July and then to 87 per cent in August.

The tally as of now is 79 per cent of the LPA. It could go up and down from this level depending on the quantum of rainfall over the next week or two, as the withdrawal will not happen at one go across the country.

As per the present forecast, it is likely to start in four to five days.

But, it is not known as to how long it will take for the system to withdraw entirely from the entire country. The monsoon this year has been one of the worst.

As of Wednesday, as many as 38 meteorological sub-divisions of the total of 533 in the country (7 per cent) were in the “scanty” rainfall category, with a deficiency of over 60 per cent, and 260 others (50 per cent) were in the “deficient” category, with the deficiency ranging from 20 to 59 per cent.

Worst hit

The northwest region, comprising Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Jammu and Kashmir and Rajasthan was the worst hit this year, with the deficiency in the cumulative rainfall continuing to be 32 per cent as of Wednesday.

The northeast region, comprising the north-eastern States, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal came next with a deficiency of 26 per cent. Central India, comprising Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Orissa, and Jharkhand followed with a deficiency of 17 per cent.

The south peninsular region, comprising Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Lakshadweep and Andaman and Nicobar Islands suffered the least, with only 8 per cent. In all, out of 35 States and Union Territories, only 14 could register excess or normal rainfall.

They are: Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala, Goa, Maharashtra, Gujarat, West Bengal, Orissa, Assam, Tripura, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu, Lakshadweep, and Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

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