The South-West monsoon has started withdrawing from parts of West Rajasthan a fortnight behind schedule, the India Met Department confirmed on Thursday.

Tell-tale signs were the change-over of wind pattern from being cyclonic (anti-clockwise) to anti-cyclonic (clock-wise); reduction in humidity (moisture content); and the prevailing dry weather.

Faces resistance The withdrawal line passed through Anupgarh, Bikaner and Jaisalmer on Thursday. It should normally progress in the south-east and south-west direction to cover East, Central and the South Peninsula.

This is a month-long process but it remains to be seen how fast it can progress since it already faces resistance from a resident rain-driving low-pressure area that was located over Telangana on Thursday.

Rain activity should completely stop and the land must dry up suitably for the monsoon to be declared as having withdrawn from further areas in East and Central India.

But this will take some time, going by the outlook maintained by various weather models, including the IMD.

Crucial spell on The longer the delay, the better, since incremental quantum of rainfall being registered will be crucial to meeting the ‘surplus monsoon’ parameters projected by the Met.

Earlier, KJ Ramesh, Director-General of the Department, had told BusinessLine that the lower rainfall normals for September should help it meet these parameters without much difficulty.

But the rainfall deficit for the country as a whole had grown to 5 per cent as on Wednesday.

Of the four geographical divisions, Central India alone had a surplus rain figure, of just 1 per cent.

The deficits in East and North-East India (-13 per cent); North-West India (-2 per cent); and the Peninsula (-11 per cent) are way beyond figures that the Met Department had bargained for.

Bay under watch The Met’s hopes are hinged on the ongoing rainfall over Peninsular and adjoining Central and West India and the spell widely expected to follow. The US Climate Prediction Centre says that the last fortnight left of the month, beginning Thursday, may see heavy to very rainfall over East-Central, Central and West India as also along the West Coast.

The rain will be masterminded by low-pressure areas moving in from the Bay of Bengal, one of which is now sitting over Telangana.

The European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts sees a follow-up system springing up roughly along the region where its predecessor was born — off the Andhra Pradesh coast.