Climate Change

At snail's pace: 2019's southwest monsoon

The monsoon is advancing at its slowest speed in the past 12 years in 2019

Published: Wednesday 19 June 2019

Cyclone Vayu and an already-delayed monsoon have resulted in a 44 per cent rainfall deficit, according to the India Meteorological Department. The Met department record shows that this monsoon has been the slowest progressing monsoon in at least 12 years. It is just reaching about 10-15 percent of the country. Usually, two-thirds of India will be under the spell of the monsoon during this time.

The northern limit of Monsoon (NLM) is stalled across Mangaluru, Mysuru, Salem, north Bengal and Assam. Only parts of Kerala, Karnataka and some northeastern states have received rainfall. Rains in other parts over the last week were either due to a western disturbance or Cyclone Vayu

The monsoon this year hit Kerala on June 8, seven days later than usual and a day later, Vayu developed from a low-pressure system over the Arabian Sea. Although Vayu brought good rains along the western coastal region, the storm pulled in moisture-rich westerly winds, halting the progress of the monsoon.

Rainfall was 60 per cent deficient in Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Goa, Maharashtra and Telangana  (June 18). Vidarbha (88 per cent) and Marathwada (73 per cent) in Maharashtra are the worst-affected regions with a rainfall deficiency. As the monsoon is delayed, summer continues to get stretched, resulting in extreme heat and water scarcity across the country.

Now, as the cyclone has weakened into a depression, more rain is expected in the states of Gujarat, Rajasthan, and Madhya Pradesh in the coming weeks.

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