The southwest monsoon is expected to start withdrawing from some parts of northwest India around Saturday or Sunday, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Wednesday.
“Conditions are becoming favourable for withdrawal of the southwest monsoon from some parts of northwest India during three-four days,” IMD said in its daily update. The withdrawal marks the end of the southwest monsoon season, which starts from June. The southwest monsoon first starts withdrawing from western Rajasthan and thereafter the entire country.
Usually, the withdrawal starts from September 1, but this year it has been delayed by more than 15 days. Experts said overall cumulative deficit in the country after the end of monsoon season could now remain in between 10 and 12 per cent.
The four-month monsoon is crucial not only for agriculture but provides vital impetus to overall economy. The season brings 70 per cent of the country’s annual rainfall.
Earlier this week, private weather forecasting company Skymet Wather Services had said the southwest monsoon might start withdrawing from its usual place of western Rajasthan any time in the current week.
The progress of southwest monsoon this year has been patchy. After entering the country with a delay of almost four days, the monsoon did not progress satisfactorily, leading to a deficit of almost 43 per cent by the end of June and triggering fears of widespread drought. Kharif sowing during that period was almost 50 per cent less than 2013.
However, the rains staged a smart recovery from the middle of July, narrowing the deficit to almost 11 per cent and also pushing up kharif sowing to almost last year’s level.
The revival, though, was not uniform across the country and in some pockets the early deficit continued leading to drought-like conditions in major north-western states like Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.
The water levels in 86 major reservoirs across the country, though better than June, are still less than last year’s.
However, experts feel that late resurgence of southwest monsoon could provide good moisture to the soil, vital for rabi sowing.
Ramesh Chand, director of National Centre for Agriculture Economics and Policy Research (NCAP), said any amount of rain is good for agriculture even if it is late.