With little more than a week left to go, the monsoon is preparing to withdraw from land, an India Meteorological Department (IMD) update said. The withdrawal might begin over the next two-three days from South-West Rajasthan where a rain and cloud-suppressing anticyclone has been developing over the past few days. 

Rain deficit improves

The rain deficit has improved almost by half to 6 per cent compared to the beginning of September — thanks to a late monsoon rally piloted by back-to-back low-pressure areas that prevented a bad situation from becoming worse. The month has so far (until Thursday, September 21) returned 10 per cent more rain than normal, apparently supported by a delayed positive Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD). The positive IOD has kept an ongoing monsoon in good stead in the past, as was proved resoundingly true in 2019 when it touched record high. and dragged the monsoon into October, past the customary end-of-season by September end.

May run into bumps 

Though withdrawal signs are forecast to be developing with a slight delay (normal date is around September 17), short-term forecasts indicate that it may run into bumps in the form of rain circulations over East and Central India. There are also indications that the Bay of Bengal might throw up a circulation around October 1 (immediately after the day of formal withdrawal of the monsoon from entire country). Its track and intensity will need to be watched for signs of further evolution and intensification. 

Kerala, worst-hit

Kerala continues to carry the worst individual deficit (-38 per cent) among the meteorological subdivisions, while the rest seven affected subdivisions have managed to cut it down to below the -30 per cent-mark. The southern-most State has, however, been receiving moderate to widespread rain over the past few days and is forecast to receive even more over the next few as well. Widespread to fairly widespread rain is predicted over the state for next five days (until September 28) along with parts of West, East, Central and Peninsular India due to helpful systems persisting or evolving afresh. 

Extended outlook

An extended outlook by the IMD for the following two days leading up to the end of the month has indicated the possibility of scattered to fairly widespread light to moderate rainfall likely over parts of East, North-East and Central India; Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh in North-West India; Karnataka, Telangana and along the West Coast and the Lakshadweep and Andaman & Nicobar Islands in the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal on either side of the peninsula.