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IMD falters again, rains in no hurry to leave
Vibha Sharma/TNS

Prediction Pangs

  • In August, the weatherman said it would be a poor show on the rain front in September due to the El Nino effect
  • Now the seasonal rains seem to be in no hurry to leave or taper off. According to the latest forecast, conditions are not favourable for withdrawal of southwest monsoon from northwest India in the coming week
  • Whatís more, fairly widespread rainfall with isolated heavy showers are expected over western Himalayan region and adjoining plains of northwest India in the next three to four days

New Delhi, September 16
The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) appears to have got its forecast wrong for monsoon, yet again. In August, the weatherman predicted that it would be a poor show on the rain front in September due to the El Nino effect. But now it seems the seasonal rains are in no hurry to leave or taper off.

According to the latest weekly forecast, conditions are not favourable for withdrawal of southwest monsoon from northwest India in the coming week. In fact, fairly widespread rainfall with isolated heavy showers are expected over western Himalayan region and adjoining plains of northwest India in the next three to four days.

In August, IMD chief LS Rathore had declared that while August rains would be normal, their intensity will decline in September because of the El Nino. On the contrary, a reverse trend is actually being observed, which, IMD officials now say,

will be a source of investigation after the season is finally over.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, officials admit they got it all wrong this season and hope that from next year, they may be able to give a better forecast with new improved prediction models. For now, all they say is that it is difficult to predict a complex phenomenon like monsoon that has so many factors and permutations and combinations affecting it.

Experts say albeit late, rains are welcome, considering their positive effect on ground water and reservoir. However, being forewarned only helps in planning for the situation in a better way.

During the past week, monsoon remained active on most days, resulting in active to vigorous wet conditions over parts of central, south Peninsula and northwest India. The country, on the whole, received above normal rainfall on most days of the week and the rainfall record further improved.

Conditions may become favourable for monsoon retreat from the northwest around September 21. Generally, the rains start withdrawing from the region around September 20.

In the coming week too, fairly widespread rainfall would also occur over east and northeast, central India and along west coast during the first half of the week. Rain or thundershowers would also be recorded over a couple of places in the remaining parts of the country.

So far, of 36 meteorological subdivisions, the rainfall has been excess or normal in 23 and deficient in 13 subdivisions. There are no regions now with that fall in the scanty rain category, which is a good development.

In area-wise distribution, 67% area of the country received excess/normal rainfall while the remaining 33% area received deficient rainfall.

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