Monsoon delayed by 2 weeks in north and east India

According to IMD, rainfall is likely to increase over northwest India, with heavy to very heavy rainfall expected from 28 to 30 June

Dark cloud hangs over Hyderabad on 27 June (photo: PTI)
Dark cloud hangs over Hyderabad on 27 June (photo: PTI)

Ashlin Mathew

India’s annual monsoon, which has hit the Kerala coast a day ahead of the scheduled date, is delayed by two more weeks due to strong westerly winds and is yet to reach several parts of east, central and north India, said Mahesh Palawat, vice-president for meteorology and climate change at Skymet, a private weather forecasting agency on Thursday, 27 June.

There is a 19 per cent rain deficiency across the country with 57 per cent over north-west India, 23 per cent over central India, 16 per cent over east and north-east India and 9 per cent excess over peninsular India.

By 31 May, the monsoon reached the Kerala coast, Karnataka and simultaneously in all states of north-east India including Sikkim. It should have reached Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Jharkhand and Bihar by 15 June.

By 20 June, it reached the eastern part of Uttar Pradesh, and some parts of Uttarakhand. By 25 June, the monsoon reached all parts of UP, except for western UP, Uttarakhand and parts of Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir.

“It's 27 June and the monsoon is yet to arrive. We can say that monsoon has been delayed by 15 days in north and eastern parts of the country,” said Palawat.

The farmers are worried about below-normal monsoon in the north and central India. They are yet to begin the cultivation of kharif crops such as rice, cotton, sugarcane, pulses and soybean. These crops require good rains by July to grow. Almost half of India’s farmers depend on the monsoon for irrigation.

"The delay is due to strong westerly winds. These dry and hot winds were blowing across the Indo-Gangetic plain, Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand," said Palawat.

“This resulted in the heat wave. This is not normal. These winds restricted the flow of the monsoon. Winds usually change the direction from westerly to easterly and south-easterly from the Bay of Bengal,” he said, adding that these winds carry the monsoon into east and central India. The south-west monsoon advanced on Thursday.

He highlighted that no significant weather system like cyclonic circulation or formation of low-pressure areas over the eastern part of Uttar Pradesh occurred this time. This is what usually pushes the monsoon currents inland and reaches over east UP.

The monsoon has reached south Rajasthan, which is unusual as typically east Uttar Pradesh gets rainfall before the desert state. “This is because of the cyclonic circulation near Gujarat and the west coast,” added Palawat.

On Wednesday, 26 Junem the Indian Meteorological Department said the rainfall is likely to increase over north-west India with heavy to very heavy rainfall expected from 28 to 30 June.

'Conditions are likely to become favourable for further advance of south-west monsoon into more parts of Rajasthan, remaining parts of Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Bihar, parts of UP, Haryana, Delhi, and remaining parts of Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu during the next 2-3 days,' said IMD in their weather report.

The department has also issued an orange alert for isolated very heavy rainfall over Uttarakhand during 28 to 30 June, East Uttar Pradesh during 28 to 29 June and over Haryana and West Uttar Pradesh on 29 to 30 June.

Though there has been a delay, surmises Palawat, the progress of monsoon will be swift. It will reach Ladakh by 28 June. Telangana, Maharashtra, east central and northwest India will get rainfall soon.

He said Rayalseema in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu not getting enough rainfall now, mostly because it is in the rain-shadow area.

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