India sees highest rains in 25 years, retreat unlikely before mid-October

Though the southwest monsoon is still continuing in several parts of the country, the 2019 season officially ended on Monday with 10 per cent above average rainfall in the country. This is the highest in the last 25 years, the India Meteorological Department said.

The last time the country received rains more than this year was in 1994, when the actual rainfall was 110 per cent above average. 

The normal rainfall in the nineties was higher than 2019. Hence, though the increase was same, the quantum of rainfall could have been more in 1994 than now.

Before 1994, India got a 10 per cent more than average rainfall in 1990, when the All India actual rainfall as percentage of normal rainfall was 119 per cent.

The excess rains this year have not only flooded several cities and towns but is also expected to cause extensive damage to standing kharif crops in states like Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and also Bihar and eastern Uttar Pradesh, where it is still raining. 

On the flip side, longer monsoon could also restock reservoirs and help replenish ground water, helping assuage water shortages in pockets of the country of 1.3 billion people and boosting production of rabi crops.

Till September 30 this year, India received 968.3 millimeters of rainfall as against a normal of 880.6 millimeters. 

Of the 36 meteorological subdivisions, 19 received excess rainfall so far in this monsoon season, while 12 received normal rainfall and just 5 got deficient rainfall.

Officials said with no signs of monsoon letting up in the coming days, it seems the rainfall will formally start its withdrawal process only after around 10th October, which will be most delayed withdrawal of southwest monsoon ever recorded by IMD. 

Not only, this, the 2019 southwest monsoon has several more records in its name. 

It was for the first time after 1931 that the southwest monsoon was excess after rainfall in June was more than 30 per cent deficient.  Also, it was for the first time after 2010, the rainfall in July, August and September was above average.

The good rains boosted kharif sowing which till end June was looking down the barrel due to 33 per cent below average rainfall.

According to the first estimate, India’s foodgrains production in the 2019 kharif season is expected to fall by just 0.80 per cent.

The four-month monsoon rains that starts from June contribute over 70 per cent of the country’s total precipitation and is vital for its agriculture sector.

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