Meanwhile, India Meteorological Department, the country’s official weather agency, updated its monsoon forecast for the second half of the season on Friday, which pointed to the possibility of heavy rains in September.
IMD said the second half of the monsoon season (August-September) is likely to see rainfall at 104% of the long period average (which means rains are expected to be 4% above normal). For August, the agency said rainfall could be 97% of LPA.
“September is likely to get heavy rainfall as La Nina conditions are expected to develop in the Pacific, which generally aids the Indian summer monsoon. Overall, the monsoon is expected to be normal,” said Mrutyunjay Mohapatra, IMD chief. Last year, India had experienced its wettest September since 1917, leading to floods in many parts of the country.
At the halfway stage of the current season, the monsoon is neither in deficit nor in surplus. June had a rain surplus of nearly 18% while July, normally the wettest month of the year in India, ended with a 10% deficit.
Low-pressure system didn’t form in July
IMD’s forecast update does not preclude the possibility of above-normal rainfall in the second half of the season. “The probabilistic forecast suggests rainfall over the country during the second half will most likely be normal (94-106% of LPA). However, the probability of above normal rainfall (106% of LPA) is also higher than the corresponding climatological probability,” the forecast states.
IMD had predicted normal rainfall in July at 103% of LPA. Officials said the absence of any low pressure system in the Bay of Bengal depressed the monsoon. “Not a single low-pressure system formed in the Bay during July. Normally, three to four such systems form during July, which then move inland over the eastern coast, bringing rain to central India and the north. Also, the monsoon trough remained close to the Himalayan foothills for long periods, which is not conducive for rainfall,” said D Sivananda Pai, head of IMD’s long range forecasting.