Southwest Monsoon takes a break across India; revival only expected later in July, kharif sowing likely to be hit

Jatin Singh

The month of July started well in terms of good rainfall across the country. The Southwest Monsoon was very active in central, east and North East India during the first ten days of the month. But, there was a drop of about two to three percent every day in the countrywide rainfall deficiency.

If we look at the rainfall data available from 1 June to 13 July, there was 246.3 millimetres of rain in the country against the normal of 279.8 millimetres. This means the cumulative shortfall (countrywide rainfall deficiency) dropped to settle at 12 percent, from 33 percent on 30 June. This is clearly an outcome of some good rains in the first 10 days of July.

Below is the latest subdivision wise rainfall deficiency in the country:

Subdivisions Rainfall deficiency (1 June-13 July)
East and North East India -11%
Northwest India -9%
Central India -6%
Southern peninsula -28%
Country -12%

However, the situation will change now. As reiterated by Skymet Weather, the 'break monsoon' period has begun and rains across the country are going to fizzle out. A testimony to this fact is the rise in the countrywide rainfall deficiency to 13 percent on Sunday. Due to weakening weather activity across the country, there may be a further shortfall in rainfall amounts. The Northern Limit of Monsoon, or the NLM, also hasn't moved since 10 July.

The NLM is currently passing through Barmer, Jodhpur, Churu, Ludhiana and Kapurthala.

map weather

Generally, 'break monsoon' conditions are seen in the month of August, with the monsoon trough shifting to the foothills of the Himalayas. It is rare for such a condition to be prevailing in the month of July, which is the case right now. Rains are certainly going to cease over most parts of the country during this time.

Due to the monsoon now becoming feeble for at least a week, only a few places in East India, foothills, North East, and Konkan and Goa will observe rain, while the remaining parts of the country will witness almost dry conditions. Central and northwest India will be the worst hit. South India, which is already staring at a deficiency of 28 percent, will also bear the brunt of poor rains. However, some rain may be recorded in Rayalaseema and Tamil Nadu during this 'break monsoon' period.

The sowing of cotton, soybean, green gram and maize €" which was progressing slowly in regions like Marathwada, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Rajasthan €" will take a hit because of the weakening of monsoon. Other kharif crops like rice, pulses will also bear the brunt of the break-monsoon period.

Meanwhile, there is a weather system coming up in the Bay of Bengal around 17 July. But this system is not expected to be very significant as it will fizzle out in about two days after it forms. During this period, parts of the southern peninsula and Odisha might observe light rain. So, there isn't much expected in terms of rain for the entire week across the country.

The surge around Mumbai is going to be weak. Therefore, there is a low probability of serious flooding in Mumbai in the next 10 days. Rainfall intensity will also be weaker than the previous fortnight.

(The author is the managing director of Skymet Weather)

Also See: Heavy rainfall likely over Delhi, Haryana; IMD predicts seasonal trough across northern plains to remain active in coming days

India receives below-average monsoon rains for fifth consecutive year; country received 6% less rainfall than 50-yr average till 3 July

Light showers expected in Delhi today; IMD predicts onset of monsoon in next two days

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