New Delhi: India recorded the highest rainfall this monsoon since 1994, the weather department said classifying it 'above normal' as the season officially ended on Monday.
Monsoon still remains active in several parts of the country and withdrawal of the southwest monsoon is likely to commence from northwest India around October 10, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said, adding that this is the longest recorded delay in withdrawal of the monsoon.
Monsoon normally starts withdrawing beginning September 1 from west Rajasthan.
IMD Director General Mritunjay Mohapatra said rainfall activity over Gujarat and Bihar will start decreasing from Tuesday.
"Quantitatively, the 2019 Southwest monsoon season comes to end with above normal seasonal (June to September) rainfall. Quantitatively monsoon seasonal rainfall was 110 per cent of its Long Period Average (LPA)," the IMD said.
LPA is the average of rainfall between 1961 and 2010, which is 88 cm.
The country recorded 'below normal' rainfall in 2018.
Monsoon made an onset over Kerala on June 8, a week after its normal date of arrival. The deficiency in June was 33 per cent. However, the next three months received more rainfall than normal.
Of the four-month monsoon season, August recorded 115 per cent rainfall of the LPA, first time since 1996 (119 per cent). Similarly, the rainfall recorded in September (152 per cent of the LPA) was second highest after 1917 (165 per cent of the LPA). July recorded 105 per cent of the rainfall of the LPA.
The overall rainfall figures were also contrary to the initial prediction made by the IMD and private forecaster Skymet Weather. The IMD predicted 96 per cent rainfall of the LPA, while Skymet's forecast was 93 per cent, both giving an error margin of 5 per cent.
The IMD said the country recorded 110 per cent rainfall of the LPA this year, similar to the LPA recorded in 1994.
"After 1931 this is the first time the seasonal rainfall is more than LPA even after the June rainfall deficiency was more than 30 per cent of LPA. After 2010, this is the first time, rainfall during all the last three months (July to September) was above LPA. The highest cumulative rainfall during August-September (130 per cent) has been recorded in 2019 after 1983 (142 per cent)," the IMD said.
Most states have witnessed flood this year, leading to large scale destruction and loss of lives.
In a worrying trend, 18 of the last 19 monsoon seasons have recorded rainfall less than the Long Period Average, the IMD said.
"This indicates that the seasonal rainfall over northeast India is passing through a below normal epoch like it was during early 1950s to mid-1980s," it said.