The monsoon has roared back in August with excess rain of 26%, and is likely to be among the wettest since 1901, when the weather office started recording official data.
Rainfall is already at a record in India’s mid-latitude states including Mahrashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Odisha. This region, which the weather office categorises as ‘central India’, has received an all-time high 482.8 mm rainfall this month.
The surge in rainfall, following a weak July, has raised hopes of a record harvest of summer-sown, or kharif, crops, although there are concerns about floods, particularly in Madhya Pradesh, which is an important area for oilseeds and pulses.
Good monsoon rain has cheered farmers. This is expected to boost rural demand for consumer goods, cars, two-wheelers, fertilizers, tractors, gold, and several other products.
From a shortage of 2% at the start of the month, monsoon rainfall since June 1 now stands at 10% above normal, spearheaded by the southwest monsoon remaining active in western India throughout the month. Rains in north India were also normal, after a disastrous July that saw the region suffer a 26% rain deficit.
East and northeastern states were the only regions that saw deficient rain in August, but rain clouds over these states regained momentum last week. Cumulatively, they remain healthy for the season.
Most days in August have seen surplus rainfall. Since the monsoon season started on June 1, nearly 90% of India has seen normal or above normal rain, said the IMD. The first two weeks of September are likely to continue seeing normal or above normal rain, according to the weather office.