Rainfall deficit for the country came down to 23 per cent on Monday, an improvement of 10 per cent through the weekend even as areas with large individual deficits (above 60 per cent) got narrowed down to Konkan-Mumbai and Kerala, Madhya Maharashtra, Marathwada, Vidarbha, Jharkhand, Bihar and plains of West Bengal. Most of North-West India is in the above-normal/excess rain category.

Leap of faith

This follows a giant leap of faith the monsoon took extending cover to most of the landmass, ahead of time at least in parts of North-West India.

This materialised during the build-up to the formation of a low-pressure area, first of the season, which lay over North Interior Odisha and adjoining South Jharkhand and North Chattisgarh by Monday evening, India Met Department (IMD) said.

The ‘low’ is forecast to travel through the moisture-stressed areas of East and adjoining East-Central India over the next couple of days. The IMD said it would move West-North-West towards North Madhya Pradesh during the next two days.

A supportive East-West trough runs from North-West Rajasthan to North-West Bay of Bengal. This apart, an offshore trough runs down along the West Coast from South Gujarat coast to Kerala coast. These are all signs of a active monsoon conditions for the country.

Arabian Sea moisture

The ‘low’ will draw moisture increasingly from the Arabian Sea, causing the rains to drop along parts of the West Coast and adjoining Peninsular India, too.

However, its onward track needs to be monitored since any movement towards the foothills of the Himalayas in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar is fraught with the risk of triggering a ‘break monsoon’ condition when rains get confined to the foothills, adjoining plains, parts of North-East India and along the East Coast (including Tamil Nadu). 

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Track of ‘low’

This could exacerbate the rainfall deficit situation over the rest of the country. But if the ‘low’ were to stick to the monsoon-friendly West-North-West path into the core monsoon zone of Central and North-West India, it would ensure fuller monsoon conditions for the region and see off the rain-driving ‘low’ into Rajasthan and beyond (across the border into Pakistan).  

Progress of monsoon

What is now left for the monsoon to cover is only parts of Gujarat, West Rajasthan and parts of Punjab, and Haryana. The normal timeline for coverage of the entire landmass is July 8. 

On Monday, it entered some more parts of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Haryana and Punjab and entire Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh. Its northern limit passed through Porbandar, Ahmedabad, Udaipur, Narnaul and Firozpur.

Conditions are favourable for its lately incredible run into some more parts of Gujarat, Rajasthan and the remaining parts of Haryana and Punjab during next two days, well in advance of schedule.