After pounding most parts of the country with heavy rains towards the fag end of its four-month journey over India, the southwest monsoon has begun withdrawing from the country’s northern and western including Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat and north Arabian Sea.
The withdrawal is almost 20 days behind schedule and should have started from September 1. Next week would see the withdrawal of southwest monsoon from some other parts of the country as well, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.
Till yesterday, the country received rain that is around 4 per cent more than normal. This, when the IMD had in June predicted a cumulative rainfall across the country at 95 per cent of the long period average (LPA) — implying rains should have been 1 per cent below normal.
The LPA is the average annual rainfall across the country in the last 50 years, and is estimated to be around 89 cm. The June 1 Met office said rains during September would be somewhere around 90 per cent of the LPA with a model error of plus and minus 15. This month so far registered rains that were a whopping 23 per cent above normal, countrywide.
The actual rains till September 22 are even more than its predicted model error. During the season, so far, southwest monsoon has been normal in 24 of the 26 meteorological subdivisions and excess in nine and deficient in just three.