Agri Business

IMD forecasts normal rains for August, Sept

Vinson Kurian THIRUVANANTHAPURAM | Updated on August 01, 2019 Published on August 01, 2019

The robust monsoon current is expected to stay the course well into the first week of August   -  Sushil Kumar Verma

July rainfall helped bridge deficiency gap

Rainfall during the second half of the monsoon (August and September) for the country as a whole is forecast to be 100 per cent of the long period average (LPA) with a model error of ±8 per cent. This should augur well for the kharif crops such as oilseeds, pulses and cotton among others.

The forecast suggests that the rainfall during second half of the monsoon season will most likely be normal (94-106 per cent of lpa ) with a probability of 45 per cent.

Normal August

This was stated in the long-range forecast for the second half of the monsoon issued by the India Met Department (IMD) on Thursday. Rainfall for August is likely to be 99 per cent (± 9 per cent) of lpa as was predicted in June. The IMD also retained the June-based forecast for the seasonal (June to September) rainfall over the country as a whole to be likely to be normal (96 per cent ± 4 per cent).

The outlook comes on the back an unexpectedly good July that produced around 4 per cent more rain than what is normal for the month, which is considered the rainiest of the four monsoon months. This had helped reduce the rain deficit from a high of 33 per cent at June-end to single digits (9 per cent) after July saw the monsoon revive and scale up to a peak over Central, West, and North-West India, giving a fillip to kharif sowing in these regions. August rains are crucial for the growth and development of kharif crops.

However, the rainfall is still deficient in 13 of the 36 meteorological sub-divisions that account for a third of the area. The rainfall, so far has been deficient in the peninsular region, mainly in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, South Interior Karnataka and Rayalaseema and also in Odisha, Jharkhand and southern parts of West Bengal. Deficiency in rainfall was also witnessed in Western UP, Haryana, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh.

Kharif sowing

The patchy rains in the early part of the monsoon had resulted in sluggish pace of kharif sowing with total acreages shrinking by around 6.4 per cent as on July 26. Except for cotton and maize, the acreages of all other kharif crops were trailing last year’s levels for the period.

Acreage under pulses was trailing by around 19 per cent, while the deficit in rice was 6.35 per cent. Oilseed acreages were lower till last week by 5 per cent and coarse cereals by around 9 per cent. The revival of rains this week should result pick up of kharif acreages.

Meanwhile, the robust monsoon current is expected to stay the course well into the first week of August, the second rainiest month, which IMD now expects to yield normal rainfall.


El Nino, IOD impact

Analysing the monsoon-driving phenomena here and elsewhere, the IMD said that sea surface temperatures as well as atmospheric conditions over equatorial Pacific Ocean indicate neutral to borderline El Nino conditions. The latest forecasts from both Monsoon Mission Coupled Dynamical Forecast System (MMCFS) and other global models indicate that these conditions are likely to continue during the remaining part of the monsoon season.

In addition, other factors such as the Indian Ocean sea surface temperatures have also some influence on Indian monsoon. Currently, positive Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) conditions are prevailing over equatorial Indian Ocean.

A positive IOD when the western basin of the Indian Ocean warms up relative to the East, is traditionally known to boost a concurrent Indian monsoon.

MMCFS forecast indicates that positive IOD conditions are likely to continue during the remaining part of the monsoon season and weaken thereafter.

(With Inputs from Vishwanath Kulkarni)

Published on August 01, 2019
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor