South West Monsoon 2014
The South West Monsoon has now ( 20th June) covered almost half of India by area. The advance, in phases, was a bit behind schedule, but the movement has been on.
Surprising feature this year is that the Bay branch has dominated over the Arabian Sea Branch. Normally, the Arabian Sea dominates with strong South West Winds bringing copious rains along the West coast.
But, the Cyclone Na Nauk has sucked away all the moisture from the region, and made the normally clouded Arabian Sea almost clear.
Even a upper air vortex which formed in situ over the Arabian Sea initially revived and pulled the Monsoon into South Gujarat.. Though the upper air system did bring good flooding rains (upto 380 mms in Kodinar per day) with Gujarat getting good rains for a couple of days, and dragged the monsoon North.
Since then, its a smiling Eastern branch and a gloomy Western side.
However, persistent WD troughs in upper and mid levels, has prevented the proper formation of the gradient for the Monsoon.
Even the Easterly Jet stream at 100 hpa and 200 hpa levels are yet to establish in the Northern regions, and has moved upto around 22N. The core is over 13N.
The ridge East of the West Coast, and the formation of the Monsoon axis over orth India, has currently reduced the rainfall over Peninsula India.
The Tibetan Anticyclone, linked with the 200 hp jet streams, is yet to establish itself in the normal position.
I would not as yet blame the El Nino effect for this sluggish start. This phenomena has not even formed and established yet.
With a cumulative rainfall of 55.0 mms against a normal of 90.6 mms for all India, overall, as on 21st, the Monsoon deficit is a whopping -39%. In June 2009, the drought year last remembered, it was -45% as on June end. But, by the end of the season, 2009 showed an overall deficit of -22%.
The graph below shows an improved trend since the last 3 days.( Today Mawsynram got 312 mms and Cherrapunji 232 mms).
The impact is felt on farm and crop sowing. As of now, sowing has reduced by 2.1 million hectares in 2014, shows Kharif sowing on 20th June almost 20% less than last year.
The poorest and worst June ever ( All India) was in 1926, with the deficit at -48% and in 1995 with June showing a deficit of -47%.
I would not go in for the "drought" term yet. The dreaded word is far from reality yet. We see the soil moisture and water table and level indicators (Parameters for Drought) are not alarming and not worsened. Water levels are comparable to last years levels, except in West and South India. Overall the Storage is 24% of the Live Storage Capacity.
If there is no substantial change in rainfall till end July, the dreaded word "drought" may have to looked into or declared.
Initially now, this is not encouraging. But, we hope, and we have to keep hope, that as the Monsoon progresses, more and more regions will get rains to cover the deficit.
We can still hold on to better figures and amounts. What we cannot afford now onwards is a more than 10 days Monsoon Break at this stage.
Next Week, from 22nd June, The rainfall would be restricted to the West Coast of India (still weak) and NE States, Odisha and Sub Himayan West Bengal. for the next 4/5 days. Some thunder storms and rain from the effect of the Northern trough would be scattered in Delhi and Haryana/Punjab next week.
Thunder storms would be also seen in Pak Punjab.
Further progress into Delhi and Punjab and Pakistan could be delayed to some extent.
Maharashtra : The rainfall in Maharashtra overall is -47% deficient. With Marathwada being the most deficit at -74%. Konkan is at -35%.
The Maharshtra water levelds in dams and reservoirs is at 20% of the live storage capacity. Last year on date it was 24%.
Even the wet spots of Maharshtra, Mahableshwar has totalled only 200 mms, half of its normal rainfall and Amboli has measured only mms.Pune has gathered only 12 mms as yet.
There are a number of station with 0 mms in the interior of the state.
Mumbai has received only 55 mms at Colaba and 87 mms at SCruz. The lowest ever for June at Colaba is 91.7 mms in 1947, and 82 mms at Scruz in 1995. Of course, we have 10 days left in June ..so hopefully we do not break the infamous record at Colaba.
Cannot see any major change for the next 4/5 days for Mumbai..in fact would venture to forecast maybe just 20-22 mms accumulated till Wednesday.