Monsoon may be late in many States

A woman collecting branches that fell in the rain in Guwahati on April 15, 2020.   | Photo Credit: AP

The monsoon is arriving late in many States and exiting even later, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said at its annual monsoon forecast conference. Along with defining a new normal for rainfall — 88 cm as opposed to the 89 cm — it also gave new dates for the monsoon’s onset in several cities as part of an update, which it said was essential for a variety of economic activities ranging from agricultural planning to power distribution.

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However, the IMD would continue to account for monsoon rainfall as the rainfall that the country received from June 1 to September 30, even though, as an official said, the monsoon appeared to be lingering in many places until October. “We have been discussing this matter, of the monsoon’s delayed withdrawal and whether we should have a different accounting system for monsoon rainfall keeping in mind the new withdrawal dates. No decision has been taken,” said Madhavan Rajeevan, Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences, which oversees the IMD.

New dates

The onset over Kerala, which marks the arrival of the monsoon into mainland India, will continue to be June 1. However, the onset date in Mumbai — historically June 10 — will now be June 11. The official withdrawal date is now delayed by over a week to October 8, instead of September 29.

The onset over Chennai has been delayed by three days — from June 1 to June 4. Ahmedabad will see the monsoon arrive nearly a week late — June 21 instead of June 14. Bhopal, too, is seeing a similar delay — to June 22 instead of June 15. Delhi, too, will see a four-day delay in the monsoon’s arrival to June 27.

“New monsoon advance dates over States like Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Telegana, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Jharkhand, Bihar and parts of Uttar Pradesh are delayed by three-seven days compared to existing normal dates,” the IMD said in a statement.

A significant delay in the withdrawal of the monsoon over northwest and central India has been observed. “Monsoon withdraws from NW India almost 7-14 days later from the existing dates. There is no change in the final withdrawal date over south India, i.e., 15th October,” the statement noted.

The new dates accounted for the vagaries of climate change as well as the increased number of data gathering stations that better accounted for the arrival and exit of the monsoon, Mr. Rajeevan added.

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Printable version | Dec 1, 2021 10:24:41 PM |

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