Sunday, July 21, 2013

All about rainfall : From the Telegraph today (21July2013)

North’s rain gain is east’s loss

New Delhi, July 20: A torrential downpour that washed Delhi today and the rainfall that devastated Uttarakhand last month could be portents of shifts in the monsoon’s behaviour that have also shown up as rainfall deficits in eastern India, scientists say.
Eastern India is the only zone among the country’s four meteorological regions that has as a whole experienced deficit rainfall since the monsoon season started this year, while the traditionally arid northwest is unusually wet.
Bengal’s Gangetic plains have had rainfall 30 per cent below the expected average so far, delaying preparation of paddy seedbeds.
While Uttarakhand’s extreme event on June 16-17 may explain its 74 per cent excess rainfall, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and even eastern Rajasthan have recorded high above-average figures.
“India’s north appears to be stealing rain from the east,” said Madhavan Rajeevan, a senior atmospheric scientist and programme director at the National Monsoon Mission, a research initiative launched last year by the Union earth sciences ministry.
While the movements of moisture-bearing winds and low-pressure systems may explain the heavy rain in the north, scientists say they are intrigued by recent trends pointing to persistent rainfall deficits in the east.
“We’ve seen rain deficits in parts of the east and Northeast over the past five years but we don’t fully understand the underlying mechanisms or even whether this is a long-term trend,” Rajeevan said. “We’ll need more observations, more research.”

Full article is here

Praful Rao,
Darjeeling district

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