Monsoon might end 2022 with a bang! Sept rains seen good in parts of India

The southwest monsoon may exit the country this year ‘with a bang’, with most parts likely to get ‘normal’ to ‘above normal’ rainfall in September, except for East and Northeast India, particularly states like Jharkhand that will continue to remain parched.

This could spell bad news for Uttar Pradesh (UP), Bihar, Jharkhand, and West Bengal, where acreage under paddy has been running less than last year till much of the peak sowing window, although there has been some catching up lately.

For the central, western, and southern parts of the country, excess rains for the fag end of the season could impact the health of standing crops.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) said due to re-emergence of active monsoon conditions, the forecast for withdrawal it issued last week stands updated. A fresh date of withdrawal will be issued later.

Releasing the monsoon forecast for September, IMD Director General Mrutyunjay Mohapatra said rainfall in September is expected to be 109 per cent of the long period average (LPA).

The LPA for September is 167.9 millimetres.

“The current weak monsoon conditions prevailing over the country will get over in the next week to 10 days. From September 9, the monsoon trough will become active over most parts of the country,” Mohapatra told reporters.

He said rains in September will be ‘above normal’ over east and west UP, which might help in diluting some of the deficiencies seen in the season so far, as also over Bihar and West Bengal.

In UP, the total monsoon in the first three months (June 1 to September 1) has been 44 per cent less than normal. In Bihar, it is 38 per cent less. In Jharkhand, it is 27 per cent less. In West Bengal, it is 17 per cent ‘below normal’.

“East India got less rainfall this year despite a build-up of good low pressure systems in the Bay of Bengal as troughs went from the Bay of Bengal towards Odisha and Madhya Pradesh, bypassing states like Bihar, Jharkhand, and UP,” said Mohapatra.

In August, the southwest monsoon was 3.4 per cent ‘above normal’ across the country.

This meant after a weak start in June, rains have cumulatively been ‘above normal’ in July and August across India.

However, in East and Northeast India, the monsoon is ‘below normal’ for the second straight month.

The impact of reduced rainfall in East and Northeast India has been such that the area sown under paddy until the week ended August 26 has been around 5.99 per cent less. Until a week before, this deficit was around 8.25 per cent.

Monsoon might end 2022 with a bang! Sept rains seen good in parts of India

Acreage deficit in paddy vis-à-vis last year has come down from 15 per cent to 6 per cent in a fortnight.

Until July 29, paddy sowing was completed in just around 58.31 per cent of the normal area, which had risen to 92.5 per cent by August 29.

Normal area is the average area covered in five years — which is 39.7 million hectares.

Meanwhile, the data showed that the overall kharif coverage of all crops has also gone up during the week ended August 26 and around 104.51 million hectares of land brought under kharif crops, which is just 1.58 per cent less than the same period last year.

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