Monsoon fury to subside in Maharashtra, but East and North East India at risk of flooding next week

  • Some of the states in East and North East India like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Assam should be prepared for heavy to extremely heavy rainy spells this week.

  • Rains were less and the deficiency kept climbing, and by the end of June, the cumulative shortfall was 33 percent.

  • According to the data available with SkyMet, sowing of pulses took a blow in June as it was down by 61 percent compared to the previous year.

After witnessing vigorous monsoon conditions for the last week, the country is now heading towards break monsoon conditions. During such circumstances, the monsoon goes weak over most parts of the country and heavy rains are only confined to the foothills of Himalayas, right from Uttarakhand to North East India. This is exactly how the conditions will be, 15 July onward.

 Monsoon fury to subside in Maharashtra, but East and North East India at risk of flooding next week

Commuters wade through a waterlogged street, following heavy monsoon rain in Mumbai on Monday, 8 July, 2019. PTI

The low-pressure area over Uttar Pradesh and adjoining Madhya Pradesh would be fading away soon, resulting in a drastic decrease in the rains over central parts of the country. Moreover, the trough presently passing through the Indo-Gangetic plains would also shift north towards the foothills of Himalayas, leading to increased rain activities along these parts.

Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Gujarat, most parts of Maharashtra and entire South Peninsula will witness subdued to scanty monsoon rains post 15 July.

 Mumbai rains to weaken by midweek

Meanwhile, Mumbai that saw a deluge from 28 June to 2 July would now be getting some relief from the incessant showers in the coming days. For the next 2-3 days i.e., until 10 July, moderate rains with few heavy spells would continue over Mumbai and suburbs. These heavy rains would stay for 2-3 hours and would not be a continuous affair throughout the day as seen in the last few days. However, they would be able to trigger localised flooding and waterlogging in many areas.

Mumbai has already recorded 678 mm of rains in the first eight days of the month of July against the average of 840.7 mm. It is clearly on the path of achieving the remaining target of 163 mm.

Post 11 July, Mumbai rains intensity would go down, but isolated intense spells cannot be ruled out. By this time, an anti-cyclone is expected to form in the Arabian Sea due to which the cross-equatorial flow will become weak and northwesterly winds will begin to blow over the region resulting in reduced rainfall activity in Mumbai for almost a week. However, some light to moderate rain of 20–30 mm may be observed in some pockets of the city. This would be a huge relief for the city that has observed heavy rains in the last week.

Flooding rains likely in East and North East India

On the flipside, some of the states in East and North East India like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Assam should be prepared for heavy to extremely heavy rainy spells this week. There is a serious risk of flooding in Uttar Pradesh, particularly in districts like Rampur, Lakhimpur Kheri, Balrampur, Gonda and Barabanki.

Bihar too is at the risk of flooding caused by rains after 12 July. Districts like West Champaran, Gopalganj, Sitamarhi, Madhubani, Khagaria, Madhepura and Supaul should be prepared for any eventuality.

During the same period, Assam in North East India would also be observing heavy rains, raising fears of flood in the state. Jorhat, Golaghat, Dhemaji, Cachar, Barpeta, Karimganj and Sonitpur would be the worst affected districts. Residents and the government authorities are therefore advised to take precaution.

Poor Monsoon rains in June impact sowing of pulses severely

The onset of the monsoon month of June ended on a poor note in terms of rain across the country. The entire month panned out exactly in the manner that SkyMet had forecast. Rains were less and the deficiency kept climbing, and by the end of June, the cumulative shortfall was 33 percent.

Though some good rainfall was observed during the last week of June, poor rain for the most part of the month seriously affected the farmers as it delayed sowing of some of the crops.

According to the data available with SkyMet, sowing of pulses took a blow in June as it was down by 61 percent compared to the previous year. Till 5 July, only 7.94 lakh hectares of the area has been sown under pulses against 27.91 lakh hectares covered at the same time last year.

Almost all major pulses growing states have witnessed a sharp decline in sowing due to deficient monsoon. Rajasthan, with 28.85 lakh hectares of land under the cultivation of pulses — major pulses growing state — has been the worst affected.

So far, sowing in the state has been done on 2.285 lakh hectares of land compared to 5.691 lakh hectares in 2018. Maharashtra is the other most affected state with sowing done on only 0.373 lakh hectares of land against 5.643 lakh hectares done last year. Below is a table that gives a comparative look at the sowing of pulses done in the states in the last five years from June to 5 July.

table_825

Progressive area coverage under Kharif crops as on 8 July 2019

Among all pulses, a major decline in the area has been seen for tur. Till date, only 0.84 lakh hectares has been sown against 3.69 lakh hectares at the same time last year. Tur sowing starts in the month of June and ends in July. Timely sowing of tur crop is important as delay in sowing leads to yield loss.

However, there is a forecast for some good rain for one week in some parts of the country. East India would be observing moderate to heavy amounts of rain during this period (10- 16 July) while Central India has already seen enough of rains till now. Due to this, the sowing of pulses may increase in states like Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Odisha and Uttar Pradesh.

 The author is managing director, SkyMet.

Updated Date: Jul 08, 2019 16:04:35 IST