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IMD expects heavy rains to continue in northeast, south India till Saturday

New Delhi: The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has forecast persistent heavy rainfall in northeast India and the extreme South Peninsula, even as concerns grow over the uneven spatial distribution of this year’s monsoon, meteorologists said.

Heavy isolated rainfall is likely over Arunachal Pradesh today; in Assam and Meghalaya from Thursday to Saturday and over Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura for the next five days.

As far as precipitation in eastern India is concerned, the met department expects light to moderate widespread rainfall or thunderstorm and lightning with isolated heavy rainfall over Sub-Himalayan West Bengal and Sikkim on today and on Thursday and over Odisha on Saturday.

Light or moderate rainfall accompanied by thunderstorms, lightning and gusty winds of 30-40 gusting to 50 kmph may cover Andaman & Nicobar Islands from Tuesday to Saturday.

“Although rainfall is expected in east and northeast India for the remaining three days of the month, it may not make up the gap significantly. August spatial distribution in East and Northeast India is expected to close with 6% excessive precipitation,” said Vineet Kumar Singh, a research scientist at Typhoon Research Centre of Jeju National University in South Korea and a former IMD scientist.

According to IMD data, from 1 June to 28 August, East and Northeast India recorded rains 8% higher than the long-term period average (LPA), reducing the deficiency gap to 15%. Despite a deficient June and July, with patches of 45-50% less rainfall in states like East Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, and West Bengal, August has seen a turnaround in precipitation levels.

Meanwhile, South Peninsula and Central India continue to experience lower-than-normal rainfall since the four-month monsoon season began in June. August alone saw a 62% and 42% deficiency in these regions, respectively.

IMD has also forecast light or moderate scattered rainfall over Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, and Karaikal till Friday, and over Kerala for the next two days. Hot and humid weather is forecast for Coastal Andhra Pradesh and Rayalaseema.

Rainfall is expected to remain subdued in the remaining parts of the country until Saturday. 

“Northwest India is the only region that has consistently received more than average rainfall since June 1, even though it was 33% deficient in August,” said Singh.

Overall, India has seen 32% deficient rainfall in August and 7% less than the LPA from 1 June to 28 August. 

“August will end somewhere near this as only two more days left,” said Singh.

As things stand, the country may witness its weakest monsoon in eight years, raising concerns over agriculture corps standing in the field.

In a statement on Tuesday, the Soybean Processors Association of India (SOPA) expressed concern for the country’s soybean crops. “Any delay in rain will be detrimental,” warned the association.

The IMD will release its September forecast on August 31, which is anticipated to fall on the negative side of normal, ranging from 94% to 106% LPA.

The June-to-September monsoon rains are of critical importance to India, watering 45% of its cultivated land and accounting for over 70% of the country’s annual rainfall. Its performance has a major impact on India’s $3 trillion economy and is closely watched by policymakers, particularly in a pre-election year.


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Updated: 29 Aug 2023, 03:57 PM IST

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