Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Stalled monsoon delays kharif crop sowing | India News


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NEW DELHI: The monsoon, which made its onset over Kerala two days in advance and arrived in the North-East six days before its normal date, has remained almost at a standstill since June 12 after making gradual progress and covering roughly 40% of the geographical area during the first 14 days. The current relatively longer hiatus has not only contributed to the current heat wave phase but also delayed sowing operation of kharif (summer sown) crops in north and North-West India.
Though the India Meteorological Department (IMD), banking on upcoming La Nina formation, still maintains that the country is most likely to get fairly good rainfall during July-Sept, it has downgraded its forecast for June rainfall for the country as a whole from ‘normal’ to ‘below normal’ due to the current pause in the movement of monsoon.
La Nina conditions – climate pattern associated with the periodic cooling of ocean surface temperatures in the central and east-central equatorial Pacific – are generally associated with good monsoon rainfall in India. Past data shows that the summer monsoon was either ‘normal’ or ‘above normal’ in most of the last 22 La Nina years since 1954 except 1974 and 2000 when it was below normal. IMD has, already, predicted ‘above normal’ monsoon rainfall for the country as a whole this year.
“Monsoon hiatus is very common in the monsoon season. Monsoon does not progress in one stretch. But the current hiatus is relatively longer. It could be associated with the intra-seasonal activity and also Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO),” said Madhavan Rajeevan, climate scientist and former secretary, ministry of earth sciences. MJO is one of the most important atmospheric-ocean coupled phenomena in the tropics, which has a profound influence on the Indian summer monsoon.
Asked whether the current hiatus will impact the overall quantitative outcome of the monsoon, Rajeevan said, “We need to wait for the next spell to revive the monsoon. That is expected during the last week of June. Anyway, June will be deficient. But we should not worry. We will have a normal monsoon.”


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