For most parts of India summer is long over, but Punjab, Haryana, Delhi and Rajasthan still reel under extreme heat even as the India Meteorological Department (IMD) forecasts no monsoon rain in north-west India till July 7.
Delhi recorded 43.1 degrees Celsius for the third day in a row on Thursday (July 1) — the maximum temperature for the national capital this year. It is the highest temperature for Delhi in July since 2012 (43.5 degrees Celsius). No respite is expected on Friday (July).
Normally, the monsoon arrives in the national capital by June 27 and covers the entire country by July 8. Last year, it north-west winds hot Delhi on June 25.
NDTV reported that Delhi’s highest maximum temperature for the month of July in 2020 was 41.6 degrees Celsius. In 2019 it was 42.2 degrees Celsius, in 2018 40.1 degrees Celsius, in 2017 38.5 degrees Celsius and in 2016 it was 39.8 degrees Celsius.
IMD Director General Mrutunjay Mohapatra said the temperature is likely to drop after July 7 when south-west monsoon enters Delhi. However, increased humidity may not give much respite from perspiration. Monsoon will remain “below normal” in the region for the whole of July, which is a matter of concern for farmers, especially those who grow paddy.
Kharif sowing is in progress and has reached completion in several parts of the country. A few days from now, irrigation cycle would start and that’s when farmers would like the rains to gain momentum. Skymet Weather has forecast monsoon revival from July 6, after a week-long break from June 29.
What is the pre-condition to declare heatwave?
The IMD declares ‘heatwave’ only when the maximum temperature crosses the 40 degrees Celsius mark and is at least 4.5 degrees Celsius above the normal temperature for that period.
If the rise above normal temperature is in excess of 6.5 degrees Celsius, a “severe” heatwave is declared.
According to Skymet, monsoon rains surpassed the daily average until June 20. As on June 20, the country was surplus by 40%. But since then, rain activities decrease over Indo Gangetic plains, central India as well as South Peninsula. As on June 26, monsoon was surplus by just 20%.
Monthly rainfall for July 2021 across the country is likely to be normal (94 to 106 per cent of Long Period Average), the IMD said.
“The monsoon has covered most of the country except parts of Rajasthan, Delhi, Haryana and Punjab. Since June 19, no progress has been observed. Mid-latitude westerly winds, unfavourable Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) and absence of a low-pressure system over North Bay of Bengal are some of the reasons,” the IMD weekly report stated.
“Below normal to normal rainfall probability is likely over many areas of northwest India and some parts of south peninsula, central, east and northeast India. Normal to above normal rainfall is most likely to be experienced over parts of central India and adjacent areas of peninsular India and Gangetic plains,” it said.