'Below normal' Southwest monsoon withdraws from India, IMD pegs rainfall at 95 percent of Long Period Average

As states in the southern peninsula start gearing up for the Northeast monsoon, the Southwest monsoon is finally withdrawing from the northern parts of the country, reports said.

Skymetweather said that 2017 saw a delay in the onset of the Northeast monsoon due to the late withdrawal of the Southeast monsoon. It attributed the reason for this to be a depression prevailing in the Bay of Bengal. Further, Typhoon Lan has also disturbed the flow of the northeasterly winds.

The Northeast monsoon has been delayed by a week and will hit the southern peninsula along the east coast on 26 October, reported The Indian Express. The Northeast monsoon is expected to be normal in 2017, with rainfall between 89 percent and 111 percent of the Long Period Average (the average of rainfall between 1951 and 2000).

Overall a below-normal Southwest monsoon

M Rajeevan, secretary of the Ministry of Earth Sciences, had said earlier that the Southwest monsoon was 'below normal' in 2017, while noting that it may impact the agriculture sector in some parts of the country.

 Below normal Southwest monsoon withdraws from India, IMD pegs rainfall at 95 percent of Long Period Average

Representative image. PTI

The 2017 Southwest Monsoon End of Season Report pegged the rainfall at 95 percent of the Long Period Average (LPA). Seasonal rainfall over Northwest India, Central India, south Peninsula and North East (NE) India were recorded at 90 percent, 94 percent, 100 percent and 96 percent of the respective LPAs.

Monthly rainfall over the country realised as a whole was 104 percent of LPA in June, 102 percent of LPA in July, 87 percent of LPA in August, and 88 percent of LPA in September.

The IMD had revised the monsoon forecast to 98 percent of the LPA in June after earlier pegging it at 96 percent. "The first two months of the monsoon season witnessed three percent more rainfall above normal, while the remaining two months witnessed deficiency of 12.5 percent," said Rajeevan. Of the 36 weather subdivisions of the country, six — East Uttar Pradesh, West Uttar Pradesh, Vidarbha, Punjab, the cluster of Chandigarh, Delhi and Haryana and East Madhya Pradesh — received "deficient" rainfall. Rajeevan had said the southern peninsula, the east and the northeast regions received good rainfall.

The season also witnessed several parts of the country such as coastal Maharashtra, including Mumbai, Gujarat and Rajasthan and the northeastern states, being battered by extremely heavy rainfall.

The monsoon was not that bad and there was also no reason to expect drought in parts of the country, Rajeevan had said. "There could be some impact on agriculture in some parts of the country, but the Agriculture Ministry is in a better position to talk on this," he added. Several parts of the country are witnessing agriculture distress.

Rajeevan attributed the slack in the rainfall in August and September to the typhoons over the Pacific Ocean and a negative Indian Ocean dipole due to warming of the east Indian Ocean waters. "We don't know the exact reason behind the low rainfall in the last two months of the season. Our scientists are studying the reasons behind this," he said.


The IMD declared the withdrawal of Southwest monsoon from Mumbai and the rest of Maharashtra on Tuesday. At 3,029.9 millimetres of rain, in 2017, Mumbai received the highest rainfall in six years.

As compared to previous years, the monsoon withdrew from Maharashtra and Mumbai much later, The Times of India reported. In 2016, Southwest Monsoon withdrew from Mumbai on 14 October, while declaration for 2015 came on 15 October.

A former scientist at the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology said the monsoon's withdrawal criteria depended on cessation of rainfall activity over the region for five consecutive days, establishment of anticyclone in the lower troposphere, and considerable reduction in moisture content, another The Times of India report said.

The Hindustan Times said that India recorded a 5.2 percent deficient monsoon between June and September 2017. Of the 36 districts in Maharashtra, 11 recorded deficient rainfall, 17 had normal rainfall, seven witnessed excess rain and one (Nashik) saw ‘large excess’ rain between these months.

With inputs from agencies

Updated Date: Oct 25, 2017 15:27:51 IST