Northeast Monsoon has a slow start

Most regions, including coastal Andhra Pradesh, Rayalaseema, Kerala, southern Karnataka and Tamil Nadu recorded rainfall deficit from November 1 to November 7

By Akshit Sangomla
Published: Friday 09 November 2018
Rain deficit
Kerala recorded a deficit of 52 per cent from November 1- November 7. Credit: Getty Images Kerala recorded a deficit of 52 per cent from November 1- November 7. Credit: Getty Images

More than a week after the India Meteorological Department (IMD) announced the onset of the North East Monsoon (NEM) season on November 1, the current season has begun rather weakly.

From November 1 till November 7, Tamil Nadu received 28 per cent less rainfall than normal. Even on November 8, rainfall was 71 per cent below normal. In Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra Pradesh, the situation is much worse. Both these sub divisions are reeling under a deficit of 68 per cent below normal. Karnataka too has received below normal rainfall in the past week. South interior Karnataka received 64 per cent less rainfall while north interior Karnataka has received 99 per cent less rainfall than normal. Kerala, too, has a deficit of 52 per cent in the same time.

Usually responsible for 48 per cent of the annual rainfall in Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry, NEM also brings significant amount of rainfall to coastal Andhra Pradesh, Rayalaseema, Kerala, southern Karnataka and moderate rain to the rest of the southern peninsula.

In general, post monsoon rains (from October 1 to November 8) have remained unusually low all over the country. India recorded a huge deficit of 51 per cent in this time period with Central India at the highest deficit of 63 per cent and the North East region has a deficit of 60 per cent. Southern and North Western India have fared a little better with deficits of 43 per cent and 33 per cent respectively. The reduced deficit in the North West might also be because of the excessive rain and snowfall brought in by the Western Disturbance in the past week.

From November 1 to November 8, the deviation from normal for the region as a whole was 404 per cent above normal. This has severely affected the horticulture of the region. The IMD predicts another Western Disturbance is likely to increase snow and rainfall in Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand beginning from November 11.

The NEM could have been a respite from this adverse situation, especially in the Southern Peninsula, but until now this does not seem to be the case. In the post monsoon period, there is a 74 per cent deficit in rainfall in coastal Andhra Pradesh and 66 per cent deficit in Rayalaseema. The state of Telangana has also received negligible rainfall after the monsoon season ended – its deficit stands at 83 per cent.

The IMD has also stated that a low pressure area has formed off the coast of Thailand, in the Malay Peninsula. This low pressure area will move into the Andaman Sea and intensify into a depression by November 10. If it intensifies further and moves towards mainland India, then it might provide strength to the NEM rains. According to the IMD, such low pressure areas and depressions have strengthened the NEM in the past as well.

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