Delhi recorded 153 mm rainfall in the 24-hour period ending at 8:30 am on Sunday.

New Delhi:

The bountiful rains in many parts of India in the first eight days of July have bridged the rainfall deficit for the entire country, according to the India Meteorological Department (IMD). The cumulative rainfall in the monsoon season has reached 243.2 mm, which is 2 per cent above the normal of 239.1 mm.

However, there are large-scale regional variations in rainfall.

While the eastern and northeastern region has recorded a deficiency of 17 per cent (375.3 mm against a normal of 454 mm), north India has witnessed 59 per cent excess rainfall (199.7 mm against a normal of 125.5 mm), the latest IMD data showed.

Central India, where a large number of farmers rely on monsoonal rains, has recorded 264.9 mm rainfall against a normal of 255.1 mm, an excess of 4 per cent.

The rainfall deficiency in south India has reduced from 45 per cent to 23 per cent.

At the end of June, the cumulative rainfall for the entire country was 148.6 mm, 10 per cent below the normal precipitation.

The deficit stood at 33 per cent on June 22.

The IMD had earlier forecast normal rainfall in July, ranging from 94 to 106 per cent of the long-period average. However, below-normal precipitation is expected in many areas of northwest, northeast and southeast peninsular India.

Northwest India saw above-normal rain in the pre-monsoon season due to higher-than-usual western disturbances — weather systems that originate in the Mediterranean region and bring unseasonal rainfall to the region.

Cyclone Biparjoy played a role in delaying the monsoon onset over Kerala and the advance over southern India and the adjoining western and central parts of the country. However, its remnant brought heavy rainfall to parts of northwest and central India in the third week of June.

An interaction between an active Western Disturbance and the monsoon trough has resulted in incessant rain since Saturday, causing flash floods and severe damage to infrastructure in Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

Delhi recorded 153 mm rainfall in the 24-hour period ending at 8:30 am on Sunday, the highest in a single day in July since 1982, and another 105 mm between 8:30 am and 5:30 pm. Chandigarh and Ambala reported a record rainfall of 322.2 mm and 224.1 mm respectively.

According to experts, the late arrival of monsoon caused a delay in crop sowing by about two weeks in many parts of central India in June and the ongoing intense rain in north India is expected to have an impact on the cultivation of pulses and oilseed crops.

GV Ramanjaneyulu, an agricultural scientist at the Centre for Sustainable Agriculture in Hyderabad, said in north India, where most of the irrigated areas grow paddy, the impact may not be significant. However, the cultivation of pulses, oilseeds and vegetables in certain parts of north and central India will likely be affected.

He said heavy waterlogging or stagnant water for extended periods can negatively affect seed germination.

Ramanjaneyulu said India lacks a proper water management system, specifically drainage infrastructure. “While there are irrigation networks, there is often no effective way to drain excess water during heavy rainfall.” The excessive rainfall has already resulted in an increase in the tomato prices across the country.

According to the Central Water Commission (CWC), the water availability in the country’s reservoirs is also improving.

The CWC regularly monitors the water levels in 146 reservoirs across the country. These reservoirs include hydro-electric projects, with a total capacity to hold 178.185 billion cubic metres (BCM) of water.

As of July 6, the live storage in these reservoirs was measured at 51.064 BCM, which is around 29 per cent of their total capacity. Although it is slightly lower than the water available during the same period last year (52.971 BCM), it is higher than the average storage of the last 10 years, which is 46.508.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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