About Indian Meteorological Organisation
Why in the news?
- As of the latest data available from the India Meteorological Department, rainfall during the season has been 14% more than what is usual for this period.
- A monsoon is a seasonal change in the direction of the prevailing, or strongest, winds of a region.
- June is the month when the monsoon begins its journey from two extremities of the country, One starting its journey northwards from Kerala and the other wing called the Bay of Bengal branch entering India from the southeast.
- Both branches eventually converge in the north and usually, this merging and strengthening of the monsoon currents over the mainland takes at least until July 15.
- This year, the monsoon set in at a textbook date of June 1 even after concerns that Cyclone Amphan that had ravaged West Bengal would delay the monsoon’s entry into India from the Andaman Sea.
- The second factor was the record pace at which the monsoon covered the country.
- More rainy days in June and a fairly even distribution across the country.
Still what is the issue?
- While good rains in June signal farmers to prepare the soil and sow kharif crop, the most important months are July and August which account for two-thirds of the monsoon rain.
- This is also the time the monsoon goes into so-called ‘break’ conditions.
- Prolonged breaks, or an absence of rainfall, can even lead to drought.
Failures of IMD
- IMD announced a revision to the onset and withdrawal dates across several cities, according to which, the monsoon covered India’s northern and western borders no later than July 8 as opposed to the previous historical date of July 15. This year, however, the monsoon broke even this speed limit and covered the country by June 25 at a pace that was unprecedented since 2013.
- In spite of significant improvements in data gathering and technological advancement, meteorological agencies cannot yet reliably forecast the advent of a break or how long it can last.
- Short and medium range forecasts need to be strengthened and effectively communicated to the people.