New Delhi: After bringing excess rains to the tune of 10% in the four month season, the southwest monsoon has finally started to withdraw from the country, here on Wednesday.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) officially declared the retreat of the monsoon, which is also the longest-delayed withdrawal till date. Normally, the monsoon begins to retreat from West Rajasthan on September 1. The last time, it was delayed till October was in 1961 (October 1).

The retreat has begun from some parts of Punjab, Haryana and north Rajasthan.

An anti-cyclonic circulation persists in the lower-tropospheric level over northwest India, which is a crucial indicator signalling the withdrawal of monsoon. Such circulation pattern of winds is associated with high-pressure systems and cloudless skies. This was accompanied by gradual reduction in moisture in the atmosphere and reduction in rainfall.

As on Wednesday, the withdrawal line passes through Churu (Rajasthan), Kapurthala (Punjab), Ambala and Karnal (Haryana) and conditions are becoming favourable for further withdrawal of southwest monsoon remaining parts of northwest India and adjoining Central India during the next 3-4 days.

In a marked improvement from last year, the monsoon rains were above normal this year with rains at 110% of the long-period average of 88 cm. As many as 19 out of total 36 subdivisions received normal rains and 12 received excess, while it was deficient in five others. The four-month seasonal rainfall provides nearly 75% rainfall to the country.

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