Representational image

(Aditya Waikul/ TOI, BCCL)

Thursday, September 22: Just two days ago, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) had indicated that the withdrawal process of the southwest monsoon had begun from the northwesternmost parts of the country, and that it would vacate more parts of Northwest India in the days to come. But now, there appears to be a small twist in the tale.

While the monsoon conditions have already departed from the northwesternmost parts of Rajasthan and Gujarat’s Kutch, they are refusing to loosen their grip on the surrounding regions, thereby delaying the subsequent withdrawal. And as per the IMD, another meteorological system is to blame, reports indicate.

The presence of a low-pressure area, currently located over northeast Madhya Pradesh and adjoining south Uttar Pradesh but likely to move west-northwestwards in the next two days, is currently blocking the southwest monsoon’s exit from Northwest India.

In fact, this low-pressure area has joined forces with a western disturbance and a trough running from northwest Bay of Bengal to north Punjab, and these systems are collectively dumping precipitation over the northern half of the country.

The status of southwest monsoon’s withdrawal as of September 21.

(India Meteorological Department)

Under the combined influence of the above systems, scattered to fairly widespread light to moderate rains, isolated heavy falls and thunderstorms are all expected to continue across Delhi, Haryana and East Rajasthan for the next 24-48 hours, and in Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh until this weekend.

As long as these wet conditions prevail, the IMD is unlikely to announce the further withdrawal of the southwest monsoon, as it considers the following parameters to judge if the monsoon is ready to leave:

  • Reduction in rainfall activity over the area for five consecutive days
  • Formation of an anticyclone in the lower troposphere
  • Reduction in moisture content

This year, the monsoon began withdrawing from Rajasthan around September 20, about three days later than its normal date of September 17. The withdrawal process has been delayed by a significant margin in the last three years, and considering the latest developments, the trend looks likely to continue this time around as well.

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