Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Thursday, Sep 23, 2004
Industry & Economy
Climate & Weather
Low pressure keeps monsoon active longer than expected
Thiruvananthapuram , Sept. 22
A LOW-PRESSURE system lingering over the east central parts of the country is seen giving an extended tenure to the southwest monsoon bringing rains in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and North Madhya Pradesh.
Even the Northwest, including Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Delhi, has received rain over the past few days. This has apparently entailed some changes in the withdrawal schedule that India Meteorological Department (IMD) had originally envisaged for the monsoon.
"The withdrawal process will not commence over the next couple of days at the least. We are bracing for some changes in the schedule," Dr M. Rajeevan, Director - Forecasting, IMD, told Business Line.
"Monsoon is still very much on in Central India and the Northwest, though not very strong. It's quite possible that the prevailing conditions might spill over into October. The exact information on the performance of this year's monsoon could be had only by October 1, if not later. It looks like we might end up with a shortfall of around 12 per cent," Dr Rajeevan added.
According to the 24-hour forecast posted on the IMD Website on Wednesday, the low-pressure area was positioned over northern parts of West Uttar Pradesh. The western disturbance over North Pakistan and adjoining Jammu and Kashmir also persisted. Under the influence of these systems, rains or thundershowers have been forecast in many parts in the North, the Northeast, Coastal Karnataka, Maharashtra, Konkan and Goa.
According to the US-based Global Weather Services, monsoon rains are forecast through the weekend, mainly from eastern and southern parts of India into some of the growing areas in the Central North. Much of the Northwest and Pakistan will continue to experience hot and dry weather.
By Sunday, light to moderate rains have been forecast in parts of Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh and into Bihar, parts of Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, the Northeast and Bangladesh. Haryana, Punjab and Rajasthan will also receive some rain.
During the ongoing week, showers and thunderstorms have been reported Monday onwards from North Central India into the southern parts with locally heavy rains in the Southeast and Central North. Mostly dry weather prevailed in the rest of the country. Rainfall during the 36 hours ending on Wednesday morning saw Lucknow recording 12.2 cm and Machilipatnam 7.2 cm, and Agra, 5.5 cm.
According to Dr Rajeevan, it is too early to comment on the likely influence the evolving weak El Nino phenomenon would have on next year's monsoon.
North-East monsoon: Meanwhile, the International Research Institute for Climate Prediction (IRI) at Columbia University has forecast a bountiful northeast monsoon for extreme southern parts of India and Sri Lanka.
The IRI said that enhanced probabilities for `above normal precipitation' were forecast for Sri Lanka, extreme southern India and northern Afghanistan and Pakistan for October, November and December. .
The IMD prepares an experimental forecast for northeast monsoon but it is restricted, according to Dr Rajeevan.
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