Monsoon 2020 stands a chance to become excess and record the highest rainfall in the last 25 years. While June and August swayed the seasonal rains with the respective surplus of 18% and 27%, the core monsoon month July was a dampener with a substantial shortfall of 10%. At the end of August, the seasonal status stood as ‘Above Normal’ with an overall excess of 10%. September holds the key to run the last mile and create a new record of measuring excess rains(>110%).
The past records speak that monsoon neither fails in all four months (even during drought) and nor performs good in all. The monsoon rains were normal during July 2009, a year of severe drought ending the season at -21%. Similarly, in 1994, the last excess year in recent history had a failed monsoon in September. There are exceptions like 1975 and 1961, both excess monsoon years ending with a surplus of 13% and 21% respectively. The monsoon rains kept pouring in all four months in these years.
Monsoon 2020 started on a rainy note with swampy conditions over many parts. Thereafter July was disappointing with a shortfall of 10% giving scare of a disaster. The month of August turned savior with a record surplus of the last four decades, measuring 27% excess and taking the monsoon tally to 110%. Now for the season to end with ‘Excess’ rainfall, the month of September also needs to record at least 10% more than its normal rains of 170.2mm.
The first week of September has fallen short of expectations and is deficit by 30%. With a low-pressure area over the East Central Arabian Sea enhancing rains along the West Coast and another weather system forming shortly in the Bay of Bengal, overall rainfall will increase, and the persisting deficiency slide down significantly. However, the commencement of monsoon withdrawal from northern parts will be a mitigating factor and the right balance need to be struck to achieve a landmark of excess rains after 25 years.