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North, North-East India Faces Monsoon Deficit, Heatwave Crisis

19 Jun 2024 1:19 pm
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MUMBAI, 19 Jun (Commoditiescontrol): Since the arrival of the southwest monsoon on May 30, significant portions of India have experienced deficient rainfall over the past two weeks, according to data from the India Meteorological Department (IMD). This has exacerbated the heatwave conditions in northern and eastern regions of the country, with temperatures soaring between 44-48°C.

The IMD has forecast that severe heatwave conditions will persist across many parts of north India for the next three days. From June 1 to June 15, apart from the southern peninsula, the rest of India experienced a substantial monsoon rainfall deficit ranging from -40% to -90%. Even Kerala, the country's monsoon gateway, has reported deficient rainfall.

The Northeast, despite the monsoon reaching the region and Kerala simultaneously for the first time in many years, is also experiencing severe rainfall deficiency. Eastern Uttar Pradesh recorded an -80% deficit, followed by Bihar (-71%), Jharkhand (-62%), and Odisha (-41%). West Bengal (-17%) and Assam (-10%) have reported rainfall that is below normal levels.

In northern India, Punjab reported an -86% deficit, Haryana -87%, western Uttar Pradesh -90%, and Rajasthan -63%. Central India also saw deficient rainfall, with states like Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, and Chhattisgarh experiencing below-normal precipitation, while Maharashtra was an exception.

Southern India, on the other hand, saw relatively better rainfall performance. Apart from Kerala, states like Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, and Andhra Pradesh received normal to above-normal rainfall over the past two weeks.

The IMD has projected that the southwest monsoon will reactivate after June 19. "Conditions are favorable for further advance of the southwest monsoon into more parts of Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, coastal Andhra Pradesh, and northwest Bay of Bengal, as well as some parts of Gangetic West Bengal, the remaining parts of sub-Himalayan West Bengal, and some parts of Bihar in the next 4-5 days," an IMD official stated.

This year, the monsoon onset occurred two days earlier than the usual date of June 1. However, it started to weaken soon after the first week. Earlier, the IMD had predicted an above-normal monsoon, estimating it to be 106% of the long-period average. Experts are optimistic that the monsoon will return in July to mitigate the current deficit.

Severe heatwave conditions have been observed across most parts of Punjab, Haryana-Chandigarh-Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Gangetic West Bengal, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, north Rajasthan, and east Madhya Pradesh. Even Himalayan states like Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand are experiencing extreme temperatures, recording 4-8°C above normal.

This combined monsoon deficit and relentless heatwave present significant challenges, particularly for farmers and urban populations struggling with water scarcity and crop irrigation issues. The government and related agencies are closely monitoring the situation to provide necessary support and interventions.

(By Commoditiescontrol Bureau; +91 98201 3018)

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