Excess monsoon so far; July-Aug to get normal rains

Excess monsoon so far; July-Aug to get normal rains

As monsoon makes rapid progress, weather scientists today said the annual rains would cover the entire country ahead of schedule but were skeptical about showers in September.

"Monsoon has been very good so far having covered two- thirds of the country's land-mass," Laxman Singh Rathore, Director-General of India Meteorological Department, told reporters here.

Releasing an update on the monsoon forecast, he said the country would receive normal and fairly distributed rain in July and August. Rainfall is expected to be at 101 per cent of the long-term average in July and 96 per cent in August.

For the country as a whole, monsoon has been 28 per cent excess since onset over Kerala on June 1.

Rathore, who has vast experience in agro-meteorology, said that early onset of monsoon has led to early sowing, particularly of coarse cereals in last year's drought-hit regions.
"Whenever there is timely sowing, we have seen that the production is good. Particularly with respect to drought-hit regions of 2012-- the semi-arid corridor which produces coarse cereals there has been early sowing," he said.

Also, the bright side for paddy crop is that with timely onset of monsoon nursery raising is in place. "This would facilitate early or timely cross planting," he said.

Rathore said for long-term crops like cotton, sugarcane and plantation crops the irrigation requirement has vanished due to good rains, which would lead to lower cultivation costs and healthy crop.

The weatherman said rainfall has been good in drought-hit with Marathwada getting 32 per cent excess rains, Vidarbha (96), Madhya Maharashtra (82), north interior Karnataka (53), south interior Karnataka (41) and Saurashtra and Kutch 200 per cent excess rains.

Rathore said 90 per cent of the 36 meteorological sub- divisions have received normal of excess rainfall since the onset of monsoon.

Monsoon rains have been scanty in the three sub-divisions of the northeast, he said but added that the region had received a good spell of pre-monsoon rains.

Haryana has so far received relatively lesser rains than its surrounding areas and the situation there was expected to improve in the coming week.

Rathore said the country would get excess and fairly well distributed rainfall in June.
The IMD also stuck to its April forecast of normal monsoon this year.

This is the fourth straight year that the government has forecast normal monsoon.
Regionwise, southern peninsula was expected to top the table with a rainfall of 103 per cent for the season as a whole, followed by central and northeast India with a rainfall of 98 per cent each and northwest 94 per cent.

Rathore said that though compared to south India, the northwestern region was likely to get lesser rains, in absolute terms, rainfall over the northwest region will certainly not be insignificant.

"94 per cent rainfall falls well within the normal range. There is no need for any worry," he said.

Weather scientists are skeptical about the monsoon maintaining its momentum in the second half of the season, particularly September, as they see some unfavourable conditions developing in the Indian Ocean.

Monsoon is crucial for the kharif crops such as rice, soyabean, cotton and maize because almost 60 per cent of the farm land in the country is rainfed.

Rathore said El Nino or the seasonal warming of the equatorial Pacific Ocean which is known influence monsoon would continue to be neutral.

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