Kerala: 60% Shortfall in June, Southwest Monsoon Expected to Strengthen in Early July
Image Courtesy: PTI
Kerala has received 60% less rainfall due to the southwest monsoon during the month of June. The state has received only 260.3 mm of rainfall from June 1 to June 30 against the average rainfall of 648.3 mm, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has reported.
Besides the delay in the onset of the monsoon by a week, the effects of the Biporjoy cyclone are also cited as the reason for the massive deficit. While all 14 districts have recorded deficit rainfall, rainfall in seven districts has been categorised as largely deficient.
The water levels in irrigation and power generation dams are low due to the weak monsoon.
With favourable conditions, the monsoon is expected to advance further and bring widespread rains from July 3. Forming a low-pressure region in the northern Bay of Bengal Sea is another factor in favour of the progress of the monsoon.
LARGELY DEFICIENT IN HILL DISTRICTS
The Southwest Monsoon arrived in Kerala on June 8, a delay of one week since the wind conditions became unfavourable due to the formation of the Biparjoy cyclone. The monsoon remained weak since the cyclone remained active for a prolonged duration, even after landfall on June 22.
Speaking to NewsClick, Rajeevan Erikulam, Meteorologist at the Kerala State Disaster Management Authority (KSDMA), said that the delayed onset generally doesn't affect the quantum of rainfall. "But the Biparjoy cyclone came as a villain for the state. The system was active for more than two weeks, affecting the wind conditions for the southwest monsoon,” he added.
The rainfall has been alarmingly low in seven districts, namely, Idukki, Kasargod, Kozhikode, Malappuram, Palakkad, Thrissur and Wayanad, which recorded a deficit of 69% and more.
"The northern districts receive high rainfall during the monsoon. But, this year, Kasargod has received just 379.6 mm instead of the normal rainfall of 982.4 mm, a deficit of 61%,” Rajeevan said.
Wayanad, another northern district, has the highest deficit amongst all the districts, with a 78% shortfall. Kozhikode has recorded a shortfall of 74% as well.
STORAGES DEPLETING, EXPECTING RAINS IN EARLY JULY
Forming a low-pressure region in the Bengal Sea is a favourable condition for advancing the monsoon, with wind conditions in favour. On June 28, the state received rainfall on par with the daily annual normal rainfall.
"June 28 is the only day in the month to witness widespread and normal rainfall. The first week of July would be crucial, as the conditions are more favourable now,” Rajeevan said.
The IMD has predicted heavy rains across several districts from June 30 to July 4.
The water levels in irrigation and power generation dams have remained low due to the deficient rainfall.
Idukki Dam, one of the tallest arch dams, has just 14.18% of its full storage level. A township, Vairamani, which was evacuated in 1976, has resurfaced after the capacity was reduced to a historically low level. Of the 17 dams helping in power generation, nine dams have storage less than 20% of their total capacity.
The storage of irrigation dams is neither healthy. Of the 20 major irrigation dams, only one dam has more than 70% storage, and eight dams have less than 20% of the storage capacity.
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