Monsoon still active, withdrawal delayed for 7th yr



New Delhi: After steering the country away from a drought, the late rally of south-west monsoon is likely to continue for at least another week thus delaying its withdrawal.

"Southwest monsoon will continue to bring rains for a little more time, for a maximum of one week. Withdrawal of monsoon is delayed," Swati Basu, officiating Director General, India Meteorological Department (IMD), told PTI.

She said monsoon was still active in the northwest region which spans across Jammu & Kashmir, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.

However, she said this would be the last phase of seasonal rains as monsoon would begin withdrawing from West Rajasthan sometime next week.

This will be the seventh straight year when the withdrawal of monsoon, which normally begins in the first week of September, has been delayed to the third week of the month.

Even in 2005, when the withdrawal had started on September two, the progress had stalled after the initial phase with the next push taking place towards month end.

Usually monsoon withdraws from the entire country by September end, but in the past eight years this has been delayed till as long as October 11.

Copious rains in August and the first half of September has helped dispel fears of a widespread drought, which seemed imminent after deficient rains in June and July.

The remarkable August rally saw 22 of the 36 meteorological sub-divisions get excess or normal monsoon.

However, monsoon was still eight per cent short of the average rains for the country which are pegged at 89 cm.

The country as a whole has received 739.5 mm rainfall between June 1 and September 13 as against the normal of 801.3 mm for the period.

The month of August saw the country receive 264.7 mm rainfall as against the normal of 261 mm, showing an excess of about one per cent.

In June, the country received 31 per cent deficient rains than normal while July saw a monsoon deficiency of 13 per cent which had prompted the government to roll out a slew of measures to tackle the then impending drought-like situation.

Till yesterday as much as 64 per cent of the country has received normal or excess rain this season, while the rest have had deficient rainfall, IMD data showed.

Saurashtra and Kutch, Punjab, Gujarat region, Haryana, West Uttar Pradesh, Marathwada and Bihar are the regions worst hit by deficient rains.

The deficiency in these regions range from 54 per cent to 20 per cent. Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura have also received 33 per cent deficient rainfall since the delayed onset of monsoon this season.

PTI