Missing easterly winds leave Northwest rain deficit, Northeast deluged: IMD

Easterly winds that bring monsoon to Northwest India have been absent, resulting in the dry spell in North India in June, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Friday. In absence of easterly winds, southwesterly winds took the monsoon clouds to Northeast, resulting in excessive rainfall and floods there.

While the all-India rainfall was 4% deficient, Assam and Meghalaya experienced 1,000mm last week. Other parts of the Northeast, including Manipur, Tripura; sub-Himalayan West Bengal and Sikkim also received heavy rainfall.

“All India rainfall shows little change, and that’s a very good sign. But the number of dry spells are increasing as well as the pockets of extremely heavy rainfall are also increasing. The variability is high and this is worrying. We are not expecting easterly winds for the next 4-5 days as well,’’said Dr R K Jenamani, Senior Scientist, National Weather Forecast Division, IMD.


Rainfall variability

The all-India rainfall was 18% deficient, while highest regional rainfall deficiency of minus 31 per cent (June 1 – 24) was reported from the central India region covering Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Odisha, affecting agricultural activities in this core monsoon zone. The IMD said 61% of the country has received normal to excess monsoon rainfall, while 39% area has been deficient, so far.

Although, in the last three years (2019-2021), India has recorded normal to above normal rainfall but variability in dispersal of monsoon rain has been ever high. Abinash Mohanty, Programme Lead, Risks and Adaptation, Council for Energy Environment and Water, said that 75% of the country now falls under extreme weather hotspots, with six climatic zones, 27 states, 463 districts and over 638 million Indians vulnerable to extreme weather events. “As much as 45% landscape disruption has taken place resulting in micro-climatic events. So, areas that were earlier drought prone are now becoming flood prone as well and vice versa. India is currently going through dry epoch rainfall with the number of dry days increasing. A 1% change in monsoon rainfall will result in 0.34% change in India’s agriculture-driven GDP that year,’’ said Mohanty.

Meanwhile, the Met Department has warned of thunderstorms with moderate intensity rainfall over Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand during June 27 and 28. Rainfall will continue along the west coast during the next five days.

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