Monsoon makes strong start with 31% more rainfall in first 14 days

India’s southwest monsoon has made a strong start to the 2020 season with cumulative rainfall in the first fortnight (Till June 14) almost 31 per cent more than normal, with central India recording the best of 94 per cent above normal rainfall during the period.

This was followed by the southern peninsula, where rainfall during the June 1-14 period was 20 per cent above normal, while that in north-west India was 19 per cent more than normal.

Overall, the country normally receives around 57.8 millimeters of rainfall in the first 14 days of the southwest monsoon season that lasts from June to September, but this year it has so far received 75.8 millimeters of rainfall.

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Encouraged by the good progress of monsoon, farmers in several parts of Madhya Pradesh have started sowing soybean, which is one of the main oilseed crop of the region.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) in its daily forecast said that conditions were becoming favourable for further advance of Southwest Monsoon into some more parts of North Arabian Sea, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh, remaining parts of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Bihar and some parts of eastern Uttar Pradesh during next 48 hours.

On Sunday, monsoon covered the whole of Maharashtra, advanced into more parts of Gujarat and reached Chhattisgarh.

The IMD earlier this month, upgraded its forecast of the 2020 rains to 102 per cent of the Long Period Average (LPA), from the 100 per cent in April.

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The forecast is with a model error of plus or minus 4 per cent.

The forecasts showed that barring the Northeast and eastern India, the rainfall in all the other regions will be towards the higher side of the ‘normal’.

Northwest India, which comprises states such as Punjab, Haryana, UP and Delhi, is projected to get ‘above normal’ rainfall this year at 107 per cent of the LPA.

The IMD said central India, most of which is rain-fed, is expected to get rainfall equivalent to 103 per cent of its LPA. Southern India may get rainfall equal to 102 per cent of the LPA.

East and Northeast India are expected to get 96 per cent of the LPA.

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The central India subdivision covers states of Goa, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Odisha, while the southern peninsula subdivision consists of Kerala, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

The east and northeast subdivision, which is expected to get 96 per cent of rainfall, covers all the northeastern states besides West Bengal, Jharkhand, and Bihar.

The IMD classifies rainfall between 96 and 104 per cent of the LPA as normal and between 104 and 110 per cent is classified as above normal rainfall. Rainfall between 90 and 95 per cent is categorised as ‘below normal’.

Though the cumulative LPA for the four-month rainfall for all-India is 88 cm, there can be regional variations.

In July, the rains would be 103 per cent of the LPA while in August it will be 97 per cent, said the MET department. EoM

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