Friday, 8 July 2011

Timely monsoon rainfall for Uttarakhand

Written by Anil Singh

Can't say whether it's a good thing or a bad thing; but the fact that most of the rainfall in India is concentrated in just three months of monsoon; makes a good monsoon crucial for most of Indians. If rain Gods fail to bless the country during this small period; the rest of nine months become a real punishment; as along with kharif crops like paddy (crops shown during rainy season); Rabi crops (winter crops) fail too (because of depleted water tables and lack of credit). For non farmers, this results in rise in food prices and everything else which is connected.

But, thank fully this year is going to be a Good year with respect to monsoon,

The southwest monsoon is likely to cover the entire country before the normal time of July 15, informed the India Meteorological Department (IMD) at Poona on Thursday. The progress of the monsoon, which has halted for the last 11 days, is likely to begin again in the next couple of days, it added.

This year, the monsoon is expected to cover the country two to three days before the scheduled date of July 15. Conditions are favorable for further advancement of southwest monsoon over more parts of Gujarat and Rajasthan during the next 48 hours. Southwest monsoon had made its last progress on June 26 and advanced into remaining parts of west Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Haryana (including Delhi) and more parts of Rajasthan.

The latest update from IMD also allayed the fears of an absence of rainfall in central parts of the country and surrounding areas, as the current activity points that a revival of monsoon has taken place over the last couple of days. After a good rainfall activity, southwest monsoon is likely to make progress again.

As per the IMD report, the southwest monsoon has been vigorous in Marathwada and coastal Andhra Pradesh, and active in Gangetic West Bengal, Orissa, Uttarakhand, Konkan and Goa, central Maharashtra, Telangana and south interior Karnataka, on Thursday. This year, the monsoon set in late, by about 10 days, over the Andaman Sea. However, it reached Kerala three days before the normal date of June 1. It set in over most parts of south Arabian Sea, Kerala, some parts of Tamil Nadu, south Bay of Bengal and south Andaman Sea on May 29. Due to the strengthening of cross-equatorial flow over Arabian Sea, monsoon further advanced rapidly and by June 5 covered entire Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Goa, most parts of Karnataka and some parts of south Andhra Pradesh.

From June 6 to 10, there was a short hiatus in further advancement of monsoon along the west coast. However, on the other hand, the eastern branch of monsoon advanced over some more parts of Bay of Bengal and northeastern states. By June 13, the monsoon advanced to more parts of Arabian Sea, parts of Saurashtra and most parts of the Bay of Bengal and parts of coastal Andhra Pradesh and coastal Orissa. On June 15, it further advanced over more parts of Maharashtra, most parts of Telangana and Orissa, remaining parts of coastal Andhra Pradesh, Bay of Bengal, West Bengal and some parts of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Bihar.

Over all, the latest update from IMD is: Some pro-rainfall (rainfall favoring) conditions in the country will help bring in rains.

The news is particularly good for the grain production belts of Uttarakhand, namely districts of UdhamSingh Nagar, parts of Nainital, Haridwar, and Dehradun. In absence of proper rainfall these paddy and other cash crop producing regions are affected adversely. But, these areas are not using the water judiciously. And most of the times exploit the ground water to the extent that it's getting lower and lower with no hope of fully replenishing. This is a disturbing trend. In addition, the region is yet to realize to importance of rain water harvesting.

A Good rainfall is good for people in Uttarakhand hills too, whether they are engaged in subsistence agriculture or are into cash cultivation (horticulture).But the good thing about Uttarakhand is that in addition to monsoonal rains; most of the state also receives convectional rains from time to time, making for deficiency in precipitation, in case monsoon is less than normal or fails. Convectional rain is a type of rain, which is not connected of any rain bearing winds (like monsoon). Convectional rain happens due to convection current in an area -- land gets heated up due to sun, water on land evaporates and forms clouds and then clouds bring rain. The subtle geography, valleys, surrounding hills, forests may be a reason for helpful convectional rains in Uttarakhand. Hope we don't ruin this delicate balance.

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