Excess rainfall from a depression-turned-low-pressure area that has since weakened into a rudimentary circulation towards the fag end of the monsoon, has helped improve not only the soil moisture in one of the driest areas but also lifted the overall rainfall record for the country as a whole to seven per cent (from a recent low of five per cent) above the long-period average.

East India improves record

Regionally, North-West India has continued to show a rainfall figure just below the threshold (-4 per cent, considered ‘normal’ in monsoon parlance) largely due to the sustained deficit in West Uttar Pradesh (-42 per cent) and East Uttar Pradesh (-34 per cent) as on Saturday. Punjab (-21 per cent) has just broken into the rain-deficient category.

East and North-East India (-17 per cent) too had been in a deficit except in the beginning phase of the monsoon. Individually though, East India has made some gains after Jharkhand and West Bengal cut their shortfall to -21 per cent each and Bihar to -32 per cent after the recent bouts of rain.

More to come from fresh ‘low’

But the monsoon will not sign off without returning with another wet spell over these rain-deficit areas with the India Meteorological Department (IMD) indicating the formation of another low-pressure area in the Bay of Bengal, likely the last during this monsoon, in the next couple of days.

The preparatory cyclonic circulation has already set up a perch over East-Central and adjoining North-East Bay, an ideal location that can help pump rain into East and North-East India, Central India and parts of Peninsular India.

As in the case of the predecessor ‘low,’ interaction with an incoming western disturbance and resultant heavy rain is not ruled out, extending the wet cover to parts of West and adjoining North-West India as well.

Clouds sail into East Coast

Satellite maps on Sunday morning showed the potent circulation over East-Central and adjoining North-East Bay having sent rain clouds invading the East Coast and immediate interior from the North Andhra Pradesh coast into Odisha coast across Srikakulam, Tekkali, Sompeta, Ichchapuram, Brahmapur, Rambha, Balugaon, Puri, Sakhigopal, Jankia, Nayagarh, Mohana, Ramagiri, Paralakhemundi, Palakonda, Narasinghpur, Angul, Kamakhyanagar, Phulbani, Bhawanipatna, Deobhog, Khariar, Titlagarh, Rampur, Balangir, Binka and Sambalpur.

Some clouds had sailed into the Tamil Nadu coast to the South of Chennai from Chengalpattu, Kalpakkam, Cheyur, Marakaanam, Puducherry and Cuddalore.

Monsoon withdrawal to lag

This would push back the seasonal anticyclone that brings dry weather over Rajasthan Gujarat and triggers the withdrawal of the monsoon, at least until September 27.

It remains to be seen whether the withdrawal will resume in full swing during the rest of September, although the US National Centres for Environmental Prediction sees no major rain happening in Gujarat and Rajasthan until September 30.

But a wall of rain over the rest of North-West India, East and North-East India and even northern parts of Peninsular India (Maharashtra, Goa and Konkan) may not allow the withdrawal process much leeway.

Western disturbance persists

On Sunday morning, a prevailing western disturbance that interacted with the current low-pressure system over Uttar Pradesh (now reduced to a cyclonic circulation) was seen lying as a trough over extreme West Rajasthan and Central Gujarat. It was pushing rain into parts of West India and the adjoining coast.

The IMD has predicted fairly widespread to widespread light to moderate rain, isolated heavy falls, thunderstorms and lightning over Uttarakhand on Wednesday and Thursday and over East Uttar Pradesh on Tuesday.

More rain forecast

Fairly widespread to widespread light to moderate rainfall with isolated heavy falls, thunderstorms and lightning is likely over ghat areas of Madhya Maharashtra today (Sunday) and Thursday; over Chhattisgarh from Monday to Thursday; East Madhya Pradesh and Vidarbha, from Tuesday to Thursday; Jharkhand, on Tuesday; Odisha from today (Sunday) to Thursday; and West Madhya Pradesh, Konkan, Goa and Marathwada on Thursday.

Isolated very heavy rainfall is likely over Odisha on Sunday. Fairly widespread light to moderate rainfall with isolated heavy falls, thunderstorms and lightning is forecast for Assam, Meghalaya on Sunday and Monday (today and tomorrow); and over Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura today (Sunday).

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