Thursday, July 5, 2012

42 Per Cent Overall Deficit as Monsoon Stalls Again

The monsoon seems to have stumbled on an expected bump, the second such since the delayed onset, seriously hampering its progress.

It has totted up a deficit of 50 per cent during the week ending June 13, on top of the 36 per cent it had returned during its first week.

The overall deficit as on date is 42 per cent.

It would be at least another week until things can hopefully be reversed; and that too provided latest northwest Pacific typhoon ‘Guchol’ behaves.

This is the third time during this short season that the monsoon is being dictated terms by ‘away-cyclones’ – two in northwest Pacific and one in south Indian Ocean.

‘Guchol’ is forecast to intensify another round by Sunday, but latest assessment also says that it may start weakening the very next day.

This might leave monsoon a window of opportunity to get its act together; this is exactly what India Meteorological Department (IMD) expects will happen.

The European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasting too sees possibility of a conventional low-pressure area spinning up over northwest Bay of Bengal.

All things remaining same, this ‘low’ should be able to drive the monsoon into the sub-baked and parched Andhra Pradesh-Orissa region.

It is not yet known how far the ‘low’ would penetrate the land. One or two forecasts saw a rain head moving west over Andhra Pradesh into central India.

Meanwhile, the northern limit of monsoon failed to consolidate on the little progress it managed to achieve on Thursday after emerging from a week-long deadlock.

This seemed to confirm the second lull phase it had driven itself into with typhoon ‘Guchol’ calling the shots in the northwest Pacific.

The IMD said conditions would become favourable for further advance of monsoon into central Arabian Sea, Konkan and Tamil Nadu over the next four days.

Rains may manage to filter into parts of interior Maharashtra, interior Karnataka and Bay of Bengal and some parts of Andhra Pradesh also during this phase.

The next push into east India – West Bengal, Orissa, Bihar, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh – is expected to happen over the subsequent three days only. 

Thiruvananthapuram, June 16: 

The monsoon has managed to break out of the latest brief deadlock, the second after it made a delayed onset.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) said in an update just this afternoon that the western end of the northern limit stayed pinned down to Harnai.

The line of coverage has since made some progress towards the east of the peninsula, bringing more parts of Karnataka, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh under its footprint.

Thus, the monsoon advanced into more parts of Madhya Maharashtra; most parts of Karnataka and Rayalaseema; parts of Telangana and entire Tamil Nadu.

Some parts of coastal Andhra Pradesh, most parts of west central Bay of Bengal and some more parts of northwest Bay of Bengal too have been brought under coverage.

The northern limit passed through Harnai, Bidar, Mehbubnagar, Baptala and Gangtok.

The IMD said conditions are also favourable for its further advance into remaining parts of central Arabian Sea, Konkan and interior Karnataka during the next three days.

More parts of Madhya Maharashtra, Marathwada, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Orissa and entire Bay of Bengal would also see monsoon set in during this period.

During the 24 hours ending this morning, the monsoon has been vigorous over sub-Himalayan West Bengal and Sikkim and active over Assam, Meghalaya and Kerala.

Meanwhile, Typhoon Guchol, the latest monsoon tormentor raging in the northwest Pacific, is now expected to intensify as a super typhoon as early as tomorrow.

It has already ratcheted up to category-3 strength on the Saffir-Simpson scale that classifies storms to a class-topping category-5 in terms of intensity.

All forecast models now agree that ‘Guchol’ would peak to category-4 strength (super typhoon) by tomorrow.

It is headed for central Japan with capital Tokyo in its line of sight, but would have weakened into category-2 by Monday when it strikes the metropolis or neigbourhood, forecasts suggest.

‘Guchol’s’ peaking intensity and power means incremental moisture that would normally go to feed the Indian monsoon would be spirited away across the equator into the typhoon.

The sweep of the flows generated by Guchol’s brute strength would not allow any intervening circulations to drop anchor in the Bay of Bengal and steer the monsoon flows towards east India.

Such a system could hopefully develop only on weakening of the typhoon; in fact one such is expected to shape early next week.

And that is the earliest window of opportunity for the monsoon to entrench presence in the northwest Bay of Bengal and onward into the east and east-central regions of India.

Till such time, the monsoon is expected to be present along the west coast and the northeast of India where it has already made its onset. 

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