BENGALURU: There is a strange twist in the monsoon tale this year. Monsoon winds are blowing in from the Bay of Bengal, instead of the Arabian Sea -- the first such anomaly to be observed -- and have left meteorologists foxed.The result is that South and North Interior Karnataka witnessed heavy rainfall this month, almost double the average amount of precipitation, while the Malnad region has seen deficit rainfall. This poses a serious threat to farmers.
According to the Karnataka State Natural Disaster Management Centre (KSNDMC), between July 1 and July 19, the average rainfall in the State should have been 165 mm, whereas it has crossed 179 mm. In the past 20 days, South and North Interior Karnataka received excess rainfall: While South Interior region received 78 mm of rainfall, as against the usual average of 45 mm, North Interior Karnataka received 104 mm rainfall, compared to the average of 67 mm. South Interior region includes Bengaluru, Ramanagara, Kolar, Mysuru, Mandya, Tumakuru and other places, whereas North Interior region includes Vijayapura, Bidar, Kalaburagi, Belagavi, Raichur, Ballari and surrounding regions.
Meanwhile, the coastal and Malnad regions, which receive heavy rainfall in July, have seen lower precipitation. Malnad, which receives an average of 370 mm rain, received only 277 mm this year. Coastal Karnataka received 756 mm, while the average is 706 mm. Coastal Karnataka includes Mangaluru, Dakshina Kannada, Udupi and Karwar, while Malnad region includes Hassan, Chikkamagaluru, Shivamogga and surrounding districts.
KSNDMC former director Srinivasa Reddy told TNIE that Southwest monsoon winds blow in from Arabian Sea (West to South). “For the first time, the winds are blowing in from Bay of Bengal (East to West), and South and North Karnataka are receiving good rainfall, but Malnad and coastal regions are not getting enough,” he said.
Moderate to heavy rainfall is expected to continue for the next two to three days. “Low-lying areas in many districts may see floods,’’ said KSNDMC scientist Sunil Gavaskar. The department has informed deputy commissioners of these districts.In 2019, Karnataka did not receive rain until July 29, and was about to declare “deficit rainfall” in most of the districts. But heavy rainfall between August 2 and August 10 changed the scenario.
“This year, the monsoon was to hit North Karnataka in the second week of June, and farmers started sowing seeds. But with excess rainfall, moisture content will increase, and may damage crops,’’ Reddy said. Agriculture expert Prof Rajegowda said the heavy showers won’t have much effect now, but as the reservoirs fill up by August, the state might witness flooding.