Monsoon Likely To Start Withdrawing In First Week Of September: IMD

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has announced the withdrawal of the southwest monsoon to start during the first week of September.

Monsoon clouds

The Southwest monsoon is likely to enter its withdrawal phase in the first week of September, nearly a fortnight ahead of the normal date, the weather office said on Thursday.

The normal date for withdrawal of the southwest monsoon is September 17. However, the actual withdrawal of the southwest monsoon usually happens either earlier or later given the dynamic nature of the weather systems.

"Conditions are likely to become favorable for the commencement of withdrawal of southwest monsoon from some parts of northwest India during the week beginning September 1," the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said in the extended range forecast released on Thursday.

Monsoon rains have been nine percent above normal for the country as a whole, but states such as Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and Manipur have reported deficit rainfall of over 40 percent of the long period average, leaving the farmers in a lurch.

Uttar Pradesh and Manipur have reported 44 percent deficit rain over the long period average, followed by Bihar (41 percent each), Delhi (28 percent), Tripura, and Jharkhand (26 percent each). As of August 18, farmers had sown rice on 343.7 lakh hectares, which was 30.92 lakh hectares above last year and 53.36 lakh hectares below the normal sowing for the period under review.

The less coverage for area sown to rice has been reported from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, and Chhattisgarh, regions considered the rice bowl of the country.

The sowing of pulses, particularly arhar or tur, and groundnut too has declined due to the truant rains. For the weather office, the monsoon season begins on June 1 and ends on September 30. Last year, monsoon entered the withdrawal phase on October 6, a good 19 days after the normal date of September 17.

According to IMD data, the monsoon withdrawal started on September 28 in 2020, on October 9 in 2019, September 29 in 2018, September 27 in 2017, and September 15 in 2016.