The India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Friday said the withdrawal of the southwest monsoon is likely to take place in the first week of October or even later, a month after its normal schedule.
“There is no indication of monsoon’s withdrawal in our weather models till October 7. The west Rajasthan region is likely to receive some more rain over the next few days,” said Mrutyunjay Mohapatra, IMD’s director general of meteorology. Normally, the withdrawal starts on September 1 and reaches Maharashtra by October.
Rainfall continues over parts of Punjab and Rajasthan, from where the southwest monsoon begins its withdrawal. One of the criteria set by the Met department to declare commencement of southwest monsoon withdrawal is reduction in rainfall for five consecutive days. Last year, the withdrawal commenced on September 29, which was also late. But this year, the withdrawal is even more delayed. The southwest monsoon is spread over fourth months — June to September.
The other criteria include — formation of an anticyclone system and considerable reduction in moisture levels along the northwest areas mainly covering Rajasthan. IMD said that rain is likely to shift to the northeast from September 29. Some rainfall is also expected over north Madhya Pradesh and Haryana, including Delhi, on October 1 and 2. For Konkan (which includes Mumbai), IMD has forecast widespread rainfall (76 to 100 per cent stations reporting rainfall) for Saturday. On September 27, the overall rainfall in the country has been recorded as 7 per cent surplus.
K S Hosalikar, deputy director general, IMD, western region, said, “While the monsoon is close to withdrawal, the process has not yet begun, due to which humidity levels are high.” On Friday, 92 per cent relative humidity was reported at 8.30 am. Hosalikar added, “Withdrawal will start from northwest Rajasthan and move to central and Peninsular India thereafter. Forecast of thunder and lightning will continue till the first 10 days of October.” The met department has forecast thundershowers and few spells of rain for Saturday and Sunday.