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Rain watch for Aug 3-9: Monsoon slows down, pulses sowing still lagging

Weak El Niño conditions are currently over the equatorial Pacific region, and are likely to further intensify and continue up to early next year. The increase in reservoir levels over the past few weeks seems to be following the 2021 pattern

Published: Aug 8, 2023 03:09:25 PM IST
Updated: Aug 17, 2023 01:36:02 PM IST

Rain watch for Aug 3-9: Monsoon slows down, pulses sowing still laggingSowing of pulses is lagging, at 11 percent below last year’s level, delayed by patchy monsoon rainfall in producer states Maharashtra and Karnataka in July. Image: Sanjay Kanojia/AFP

After excess rain in July, monsoon rains slowed down in the past week, even as cumulatively rainfall remained in surplus, at around 3 percent above the long period average (LPA). The period under consideration is till August 6. 

While rainfall distribution continues to improve across most regions, deficit in the eastern region persists at more than 20 percent, according to an analysis by Barclays based on Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) data. Excessive rains have reduced in the north and northwestern regions, while the southern and central regions are seeing ‘normal’ rainfall.

Rain watch for Aug 3-9: Monsoon slows down, pulses sowing still laggingInfographics: Kapil Kashyap


Rain watch for Aug 3-9: Monsoon slows down, pulses sowing still lagging
For the second half of the monsoon season from August till September, IMD has forecast normal rainfall overall and likely at the lower end of the band (of 96 to 104 percent of LPA) , with ‘below normal’ rainfall in August. The average rainfall over the country as a whole in August is very likely to be below normal or less than 94 percent of LPA, says IMD.

Also read: Rain Watch for July 27-August 2: Eastern India still deficient; pulses sowing low


Rain watch for Aug 3-9: Monsoon slows down, pulses sowing still lagging

Currently, weak El Niño conditions are prevailing over the equatorial Pacific region, and are likely to further intensify and continue up to early next year. The increase in reservoir levels over the past few weeks seems to be following the pattern of 2021, when the country received ‘normal’ rainfall, although it remains lower than last year, says Barclays.

Rain watch for Aug 3-9: Monsoon slows down, pulses sowing still lagging

As of August 3, storage in key reservoirs were at 56 percent of total capacity, indicating an increase from 46 percent in the previous week. This amounts to 93 percent of the available capacity in the year-earlier period and 111 percent of the 10-year average for this point in the season. Overall storage is lower than last year’s, but is still better than the average of the past 10 years.

Sowing of pulses is lagging, at 11 percent below last year’s level, delayed by patchy monsoon rainfall in producer states Maharashtra and Karnataka in July. Among key crops, rice sowing is more than previous year’s, largely due to area sown in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab. In West Bengal, the largest rice-producing state, the area sown is only 25 percent of “normal”, according to Barclays analysis.

Forbes India's Rain Watch series simplifies rainfall status, water reservoir levels and sowing pattern of kharif crops, using data analysis by Barclays.

Rain watch for Aug 3-9: Monsoon slows down, pulses sowing still lagging