UPSC Daily Editorial Analysis | Indian Monsoon | 21 June 2022

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What the article is about?

  • Talks about the delay in monsoon and its impacts.

Syllabus: GS-I Indian Monsoon; GS-III Monsoon and agriculture


  • The latest IMD figures suggest that the monsoon is running an 8% deficit.
    • Central India, which has the largest swathe of land dependent on rainfed agriculture, has only got 52% of the rain that is due; the southern peninsula has a 22% deficit.
    • Only India’s east and north-eastern parts are battling the diametrically opposite problem of too much rain, with floods in Assam and Meghalaya submerging entire villages.
    • The northwest of India, where the monsoon is yet to arrive, and reeling under a series of heatwaves, is battling a rainfall deficit of 33%.
  • The monsoon rainfall is critical to kharif sowing and so a faltering June has raised concerns in several quarters.
    • June rainfall, particularly in the first fortnight, is historically patchy and contributes less than 18% of the monsoon rainfall.
  • Meteorologists maintain that there is no correlation of the timing and advent of the monsoon rainfall with its eventual performance.
    • Because of the large variance inherent in June rainfall, the IMD has historically chosen not to issue forecasts for the month, unlike for July and August.
  • Episodes of drought in India and those that are linked to agricultural failures are when the monsoon fails in these two months.
    • The June to September rainfall over the country was likely to be 103% of the Long Period Average, and central India was likely to get “above normal” rainfall as was the southern peninsula.
    • The monsoon core zone, which consists of most of the rainfed agriculture regions, too is expected to receive “above normal” rain.
    • In previous years, there has been a pattern of ‘normal’ and ‘above normal’ rains being forecast only for them to dry up for large periods in July and August, followed by a sudden surge in September.
    • This pattern may help deliver the numbers but is not always beneficial for kharif sowing.
  • The expectations of a good monsoon are premised on the persistence of a La Niña, the converse of the El Niño and characterised by a cooling of the Central Pacific waters.
    • However, the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD), another index of significance to the monsoon, is expected to be negative.
  • Whether the La Niña can compensate for the dampening of the IOD remains to be seen. 

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