Monsoon withdrawal this year may be delayed, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Friday, adding that the withdrawal is not expected before the end of the third week of September.
This is mainly due to the likely formation of two consecutive low-pressure systems in the Bay of Bengal in the coming days, which will continue to keep the monsoon active mainly over regions in central India.
“Due to the presence of the low-pressure system, the westerly winds will strengthen and carry moisture over land, thus causing heavy rain over Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Kerala during the next few days,” said an IMD official.
However, dry weather would prevail over extreme western parts of Rajasthan, from where the withdrawal of the Southwest Monsoon usually begins. Last week’s dry spell has pulled down the all-India September rainfall average to -25 per cent.
“It is unlikely that monsoon retreat will commence until the end of next week,” said an official from Regional Meteorological Centre, Delhi.
The normal date for commencement of monsoon withdrawal is September 17, as per the revised schedule followed by IMD. Thereafter, the withdrawal progresses towards central India by September-end, before entering parts of Maharashtra by the first week of October.
With rainfall continuing into the third week this month, there is some worry about crop safety. This is particularly worrrying as surplus August rainfall has already hit standing crop in areas of Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Odisha and Gujarat.
“Continuous rain last month has added enough moisture to the soil. At this stage, most crops have reached a mature stage of growth. Heavy rain in the coming days could mean that some of these standing crops, particularly vegetables and fruits, would be affected,” added the official.
Pune city records 18mm rain in three hours
Thunderstorm and rain lashed Pune on Friday afternoon, with the city recording 18mm of rain till 5.30 pm. The convective activity triggered by hot conditions during the day has been continuing for a week now. IMD has forecast heavy rain with ‘Orange’ alert over Sindhudurg and Ratnagiri, whereas a ‘Yellow’ alert has been sounded over Pune, Nashik, Satara, Solapur, Aurangabad, Parbhani, Beed, Hingoli, Nanded, Latur and Osmanabad till September 15.