India

Monsoon to be ‘normal’ in August and September, sowing operations to pick up and bridge the acreage gap | India News

NEW DELHI: Seasonal rainfall over the country as a whole during the second half (August-September) of the monsoon is most likely to be ‘normal’, said the India Meteorological Department (IMD) while announcing its updated forecast on Monday.
The forecast is almost in sync, barring few aberrations in northwest India including Punjab, Haryana and Delhi, with what it had predicted in mid-April and later on June 1about the summer (southwest) monsoon.
It said the overall rainfall during the next two months is most likely to be 95 to 105 % of the Long Period Average (LPA) with a “tendency to be on the positive side of the normal”. The LPA of the August to September rainfall over the country as a whole for the period 1961-2010 is 428.3 mm.

IMD forecast for August
As far as the monthly forecast is concerned, the country’s national weather forecasting agency said the rainfall in August “over the country as a whole is most likely to be normal” at 94 to 106 % of the LPA. The LPA of the August rainfall over the country as a whole for the period 1961-2010 is 258.1 mm.
The prediction of ‘normal’ rainfall will help in picking up Kharif (summer sown crops) sowing operations which had been depressed during mid-June – mid-July period due to slow movement of the monsoon towards northwest India and the overall break phase of the seasonal rainfall during June 21-July 7 period. The pace of sowing operations is expected to bridge the acreage gap in coming days.

Forecast for August-September
On regional distribution of rainfall, the IMD director general, M Mohapatra, said, “The spatial distribution of probabilistic forecasts for the tercile categories (above normal, normal and below normal) for the August to September rainfall suggests that below normal to normal rainfall is likely over many parts of the northwest, east and northeast parts of the country.”
On the other hand, most parts of peninsular India and adjacent central India would experience “normal to above normal rainfall”. The IMD on Monday released probabilistic maps for August and August-September, showing spatial distribution of rainfall in different states.
The map for August shows that the monsoon rainfall is likely to be ‘below normal’ in Punjab, parts of eastern Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra, and southern Chhattisgarh and parts of West Bengal, Jharkhand and Arunachal Pradesh.
“As the changes in the sea surface temperature (SST) conditions over the Pacific and the Indian Oceans are known to influence the Indian monsoon, the IMD is carefully monitoring the evolution of sea surface conditions over these Ocean basins,” said Mohapatra.
The IMD has, this year, adopted a new strategy for issuing monthly and seasonal operational forecasts for the southwest monsoon rainfall over the country by modifying the existing two stage forecasting strategy.
The new strategy is based on the existing statistical forecasting system and the newly developed Multi-Model Ensemble (MME) based forecasting system. The MME approach uses the coupled global climate models (CGCMs) from different global climate prediction and research centres including the IMD’s Monsoon Mission Climate Forecast System (MMCFS) model.
Accordingly, the Met department had issued the first stage forecast for the 2021 southwest monsoon seasonal (June to September) rainfall over the country on April 16 and the first update for the forecast on June 1, predicting that the monsoon over the country as a whole would be ‘normal’ during June-September period.
Though its prediction for the arrival of the monsoon over north-west India, including Delhi, Punjab and Haryana, had gone wrong, its overall forecast for remaining parts of the country remains on track.




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