THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala is likely to witness a deficient south west monsoon season this year if the current atmospheric conditions persist. Private weather agency Skymet in its latest bulletin forecast that states like Gujarat, Rajasthan, Odisha, Kerala and Northeast India are likely to be hit with deficient rains. The state has already been hit by deficient rains. As of August 24, the state has received only 123.93 cm rainfall against the normal rainfall of 172.03 cm during this period, showing a departure from the norm of 28%.
As there are hardly five weeks left in the current south west monsoon season which will draw to a close by September end, only surplus rain in September will help the state bridge the shortfall in seasonal rains. But in the current milieu, it is unlikely due to the prolonged negative Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) conditions prevailing over the equatorial Indian Ocean. The Skymet bulletin also noted, “There is still no clear signal about the emergence of IOD in September, which could result in the weakness of monsoon in the coming weeks.”
The extended rain forecast issued by the Indian Meteorological Department has also made it clear that there would not be any above normal rainfall scenario in the coming two weeks. The state receives the highest south west monsoon rainfall in the month of July with 32.9% of the total season rainfall, followed by June with 32.6%, August with 21% and September 13%. K Santhosh, Director, IMD Meteorological Centre, Thiruvananthapuram, said the IMD is monitoring the situation and would come out with a detailed bulletin by this month-end or by the first week of September.
Last year, Kerala had received record rainfall in September influenced by the cyclonic circulations over the Bay of Bengal, which helped the state register nine per cent more seasonal rainfall, receiving a cumulative 222.79 cm rain from June 1 to September 30 against the normal rainfall of 204.92 cm during this period.
2020 (June 1 to Sept 30) - Actual rainfall received 222.79 cm; Normal 204.92 cm; Departure 9%
2021 (June 1 to Aug 24) - Actual rainfall received 123.9cm; Normal 172.03 cm; Departure 28%
Monthly south west monsoon rainfall chart of Kerala
July - 32.9% of south west monsoon rainfall
June - 32.6%
August - 21%
September - 13%