New Delhi: Already behind schedule, the monsoon arrived but on a dull note with the Indian Meteorological Department on Thursday recording 36 percent below average rains in the first week.
Delayed by a typhoon on the West coast, monsoon hit Kerala coast on Tuesday, four days after the scheduled date. The weather office had predicted a June 1 start for the rains and has a four-day margin of error for its forecast.
The weather officials sought to brush aside the delay concerns by saying that the flow of the monsoon was well within the limits of the forecast model.
Also this being the initial stage of the four month long monsoon, the crops will not be affected much by the weak volume of rains. But the distribution of rainfall in mid-July, after the monsoon covers the entire country, would be critical for crops.
Weather officials said the rains had arrived in west coast areas where cane, tea, coffee, rubber and cotton are grown, while growing areas in eastern India still await rain to speed up rice planting.
"We expect rains to cover more parts of south and eastern India next week," the weather official said.
The national capital Delhi is likely to witness the onset of Monsoon in the last week of June. Delhi meanwhile will continue to experience thunder showers. Also, in a respite for Delhiites, the IMD said the capital city is not likely to experience heat wave anymore.
The rains that are deemed to be the lifeline of India’s agrarian economy kicked off to a weak start and may not be enough to soak the interior regions of the peninsular India.
The rains are quiet crucial for India’s USD 2 trillion economy as only 40 % of our arable land is under irrigation. The farm sector accounts for 15 % of the country’s GDP and employs over 60 % of the population.
According to weather officials’ prediction this will be the third year in a row to evade drought so a good farm output can be expected.
Riding on good monsoons in 2010 and 2011, the country harvested a record foodgrains production of 245 million tonnes and 252.56 million tonnes, respectively.
The IMD is expected to release its outlook for the rest of the monsoon during the third week of June.
With Agency inputs