India saw good monsoon rain which boosted sowing of kharif crops, the IMD said
Monsoon 2020: The country received "above normal" monsoon during the four-month monsoon season, recording the second highest precipitation in the last 30 years, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Wednesday. The country received 109 per cent rainfall of the Long Period Average (LPA) with three of the four months - June (107 per cent), August (127 per cent) and September (105 per cent) - witnessing above normal rainfall, while July recorded deficient rainfall.
"Quantitatively the 2020 monsoon seasonal rainfall from June 1 to September 30 has been 95 cm against long period average of 87 cm based on data of 1961-2010," RK Jenamani, scientist with the National Weather Forecasting Centre (NWFC) said. The monsoon season in India officially starts on June 1 and lasts till September 30.
The southwest monsoon delivers about 70 per cent of the country's annual rainfall, critical for the agriculture sector that accounts for about 14 per cent of India's GDP and employs more than half of the country's 1.3 billion population.
Good rainfall boosted sowing of the kharif crops. Farmers have sown 1,116.88 lakh hectares till last week as compared to 1,066.06 lakh hectares a year ago, according to the Agriculture Ministry.
The IMD has four meteorological divisions. Of the four, the east and northeast, central and southern India have received above normal rainfall. The northwest has recorded deficient rainfall. Nineteen states have received normal rainfall this year, while nine states saw excess rainfall.
Bihar, Gujarat, Meghalaya, Goa, Andhra Pradesh Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Lakshdweep islands have recorded above normal rainfall. Sikkim recorded excess rainfall. However, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir have recorded deficient rainfall. Ladakh also recorded large deficient rainfall.
"Considering recent years since 1990, the seasonal rainfall was 110 per cent of LPA in 1994 and 2019. Two consecutive monsoon years, India received good rainfall of nine per cent above LPA or more. Data shows similar consecutive good monsoon rainfall years in 1958 and 1959 when it was 10 per cent and four per cent above LPA respectively," Mr Jenamani added.
Monsoon arrived in Kerala on June 1, its normal annual onset date. The timely onset was also aided by cyclone Nisarga. The monsoon covered the entire country by June 26, 12 days ahead of its normal date of July 8. The withdrawal was also late. It withdrew from west Rajasthan and parts of Punjab on September 28, 11 days after its normal onset date.
One of the main features of the monsoon was the rainfall in August. The month saw five low pressure areas (cyclonic circulations) that brought large amount of rainfall over central India. Total number of low pressure days was 28 against normal of about 15 in August. "It caused 2-3 spells of riverine floods over Odisha, Telangana, Madhya Pradesh, south Gujarat and south Rajasthan. As a result, it was record rainfall in August 2020, when all-India rainfall was 127 per cent of LPA. It is the highest in last 44 years, after August 1976...," the weather expert said.