New Delhi: The south-west monsoon is expected to cover most of the country, including Haryana, Delhi, Punjab and west Uttar Pradesh, in the next 3-4 days.
Its advance over various parts of west and central India this week reduced the seasonal rainfall deficit from 23% last week to 17% this week, India Meteorological Department (IMD) data showed on Thursday.
The government weather forecaster said in a bulletin on Thursday that the conditions were favourable for further advance of the monsoon into the remaining parts of west Madhya Pradesh and some parts of east Rajasthan during the next 3-4 days.
Central India and peninsular India are likely to receive normal to above-normal rainfall until 10 July, east India and north-east India will have increased rainfall activity from 1 July, and northwest India will receive fairly widespread rainfall activity from 26 June to 10 July, it added.
The south-west monsoon is crucial as 49% of the country’s workforce depends on agriculture for a living and over half of India’s farmland lacks assured irrigation.
“A new system is coming, which is expected to bring increased rainfall in north-west India in the coming week and most of the country will be covered by monsoon, apart from regions including west Rajasthan,” said D.S. Pai, head of the long-range forecasting division at IMD.
The monsoon arrived in Kerala a week later than its normal onset date of 1 June, but rapidly advanced over peninsular Indian states. This week, it covered the entire Konkan, Goa, central Maharashtra, Marathwada, east Madhya Pradesh, Vidarbha, Telangana, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha, Gangetic West Bengal and Bihar.
The monsoon also covered parts of Uttar Pradesh, sub-Himalayan West Bengal, Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh and all of Jammu and Kashmir.
As of Thursday, north-west India has received 6% excess monsoon rainfall, central India has recorded a 38% deficit, the peninsula has recorded 15% excess rainfall, and east and north-east India have recorded a deficit of 24%.
After two consecutive failed monsoons, IMD in April this year forecast that the country will receive above-normal rainfall this monsoon season, or 106% of the long-period average.
Meanwhile, the tropical Pacific Ocean remains in a neutral El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) state; that is, currently there is neither an El Niño nor a La Niña phenomenon at work, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology said in its latest bulletin this week.
The 2015-16 El Niño, a weather phenomenon associated with below-normal rainfall in India, was one of the primary reasons attributed for the failed monsoon last year.
The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in its latest update said that there is about 75% chance of La Niña developing during fall and winter of this year. La Niña is usually associated with above-normal rainfall in India.
So far, 24% of the country has received excess rainfall, 31% has received normal rainfall, and 45% deficient and scanty rainfall.