Heavy rainfall in early July bridges monsoon deficit

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New Delhi: Heavy rainfall across large parts of India has compensated for the June deficit, bringing the overall monsoon precipitation into the surplus category.

According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), more spells of heavy to very heavy rain are likely over northwest India and the western parts of the peninsular India during the next two-three days and over the northeast during the next five days.

India, the world's top producer of critical crops such as rice, wheat and sugarcane, logged a rainfall deficit of 11 percent in June, with northwest India recording a shortfall of 33 per cent.

Heavy rain in the first week of July compensated for the shortfall but caused flooding in many northeastern states.

Since the four-month monsoon season began on June 1, the country has received 214.9 mm of rainfall against a normal of 213.3 mm, according to IMD data.

Northwest India and the southern peninsula have recorded 3 per cent and 13 per cent above-normal rainfall, respectively.

The heavy rain in the east and northeast region has reduced the deficit from 13 per cent on June 30 to zero on July 6.

The rainfall deficit in central India has decreased from 14 per cent to 6 per cent during this period.

The IMD data showed that 23 per cent of the sub-divisional area of the country experienced excess to large excess rainfall, 67 percent received normal rainfall, and only 10 per cent experienced deficient rainfall.

After making an early onset over Kerala and the northeastern region on May 30, and progressing normally up to Maharashtra, the monsoon lost momentum.

This delayed the rains in West Bengal, Jharkhand, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Madhya Pradesh and exacerbated the impact of a scorching heatwave in northwest India.

Monsoonal winds stalled from June 10 to June 18 and made slow progress until June 26-27. The annual rain-bearing system covered a major part of northwest India after June 25, according to IMD data.

The weather department on Saturday said heavy rainfall will continue in northeast India over the next five days.

The northeastern states are already grappling with severe floods.

Assam's flood situation remains critical, with over 2.45 million people affected and 52 lives lost in the second wave of flooding this year.

Heavy rainfall in Manipur, Mizoram, and Arunachal Pradesh has caused rivers to reach warning levels and triggered landslides.

The IMD earlier this week said India could experience above-normal rainfall in July, and heavy rain may lead to floods in the hilly states and river basins in the central parts of the country.

Experts from the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), a Nepal-based intergovernmental organisation, have also warned about a difficult monsoon season for the countries in the Hindukush Himalayan region, including Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, and Pakistan.

IMD data shows that in 20 out of the 25 years when June rainfall was below normal (less than 92 percent of the long-period average), July rainfall was normal (94-106 percent of LPA) or above normal.

In 17 of the 25 years when June rainfall was below normal, the seasonal rainfall was normal or above normal, the IMD said.