Near-perfect June monsoon

Karnataka and other southern states record excess rainfall

Near-perfect June monsoon

It has been a near-perfect monsoon season so far. The season’s first rain hit the Kerala coast on the first day of June, progressed northwards either as scheduled or ahead of schedule, and the rainfall has been evenly spread out during the month and across most regions of the country.

In the India Meteorological Department’s (IMD) categorisation, it has been a month of excess rainfall in most regions of the country, barring the North-East. With a day still remaining in the first month of the season, India has received 38 per cent more rain than the normal rainfall for June.

After one of the worst droughts in recent years, Karnataka and the other southern states have reason to smile. Except for the northern Karnataka and Rayalaseema monsoon sub-regions, the other five sub-regions (Coastal Karnataka, South Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Telangana) in the South have seen excess rainfall.
Northern Karnataka and the rain-shadow sub-region of Rayalaseema in Andhra Pradesh too have received normal rains.

The Coastal and Southern Karnataka regions have recorded very impressive excess rains so far—the best in the last six years. Though rain has slowed a bit in northern Karnataka over the past few days, the region has seen good rains over the month.

Significantly, the two districts of Kodagu and Shimoga have recorded very impressive rainfall. While Kodagu received almost 50 per cent more rains for the month than the normal, Shimoga recorded 75 per cent more rains than normal.

These two districts, along with Hassan and Chikmagalur, are the most important catchment areas for water inflows into major reservoirs in the state, which had dried up in May after last monsoon’s failure. Inflows into most of the reservoirs have been impressive in the last two weeks of the month.

The rainfall has also been evenly spread out across all parts of the state. Fourteen of the 30 districts in the state have recorded excess rainfall—20 per cent or more than normal. Fourteen other districts have received normal rains.

Only Chamarajanagar district in the southernmost part of the state and Yadgir in northern Karnataka have received deficient rain—Yadgir recording 40 per cent lower rainfall than the normal for the month.

It has rained heavily in some of the catchment areas for the reservoirs in the state in the neighbouring state of Kerala.

In fact, it has been a record of sorts in Kerala, the state has already received nearly 50 per cent of the entire monsoon season’s normal rainfall in the first month itself—1,041 mm rain as against the normal seasonal rainfall of 2,143 mm. And, the first month has also been good for Tamil Nadu.

 The state, which receives much of its rain from North-East monsoon that begins towards the end of the south-west monsoon season, it has been impressive excess rain in the month—the state has recorded 45 per cent more rain than the normal rainfall.

The most impressive start to the season has, however, been in northern India, which also inflicted an unprecedented tragedy in Uttarakhand, the state which has recorded over 200 per cent more rain than the normal. Much of this rainfall occurred in those three-four fateful days in the middle of the month that caused a lot of death and destruction.

The monsoon progressed to the northern states at least two weeks ahead of schedule. The entire northern region and most parts of central and western India received rain far in excess of the normal rainfall for the month. In many monsoon sub-regions of the northern and western India, double the normal rainfall. 

Rainfall in June (in mm)

Sub-regions in the south    2013*    2012    2011    2010    2009    2008    Normal    IMD categorisation for June ‘13
Coastal Karnataka    1,033.7    776.7    1,069.5    751.5    491.2    866.9    821.8    Excess   
North Interior Karnataka    97.9    56.7    91.0    113.5    93.2    67.6    100.4    Normal
South Interior Karnataka    174.0    71.5    105.1    133.5    96.0    139.3    133.8    Excess
Kerala    1,041.4    444.6    790.5    669.1    433.6    478    619.2    Excess
Tamil Nadu    63.1    22.6    38.2    71.0    33.7    45.9    45.0    Excess
Rayalaseema (AP)    64.4    35.0    51.4    94.5    62.9    38.1    66.1    Normal
Telangana (AP)    184.6    116.5    80.5    102.3    65.5    124.1    129.9    Excess

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