After a brief break, the Southwest monsoon will revive over major parts of the country around September 17. Around the same time, however, the withdrawal of this year’s monsoon is likely to commence from the extreme northwestern parts of the country, said officials of India Meteorological Department (IMD).
At a press briefing for updates on the monsoon’s progress and sharing forecasts for the final few weeks of this season, Mrutyunjay Mohapatra, director general of IMD, on Monday said, “During the second week, rainfall over central and western parts of the country will be subdued. However, with a likely formation of a low pressure system in the Bay of Bengal around September 17, rainfall will revive over central India regions. This could take the September rainfall to a near normal one.”
With respect to the present week, monsoon will remain active over the southern peninsula, Maharashtra, and parts of Northeast India, the IMD chief said, adding, that the sea surface temperatures (SST) over the equatorial Pacific Ocean region continued to remain cool.
“The SSTs are likely to further cool and development of a weak La Nina is expected,” Mohapatra said, adding that this, in turn, would contribute to the enhancement of the monsoon in the later half of the month.
Starting this year, the IMD will follow the revised monsoon withdrawal schedule for the country. According to the new dates, the monsoon withdrawal commences from western Rajasthan by September 17 as against September 1, which was followed until last year.
He said, “According to the latest extended range predictions, the monsoon withdrawal appears to begin on time. But we are yet to forecast the retreat from remaining parts of the country.”
After recording 27 per cent surplus rain last month, which also reported 27 low pressure days, September has begun with some rain deficit.
M Rajeevan, secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES), said this monsoon had been a good one so far.
He said, “We expect the season to end with normal or slightly above normal rainfall for the country.”
The IMD will continue to issue impact-based forecast (IBF) during the rest of the season. This monsoon, such forecasts, along with suggestions of action required due to heavy rainfall, were given out by the Met department as and when required. “We will strengthen IBF services and the feedback about such special forecasts have been encouraging. We will work more closely with the disaster management of states along with municipal corporations,” Mohapatra said.
10 new Doppler radars by 2021
The network of Doppler radars in the country will be improved with 10 new radars approved for installation. Of these, at least four are likely to be operational by the end of this year, said M Rajeevan. An X-band radar offering a radius of 100 km will soon replace the existing radar at Chennai, whereas one has been newly installed at Kannur International Airport in Kerala and Mukteshwar in Uttarakhand. By the next monsoon, Mumbai will get an additional C-band radar that will have contributions from Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
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