Monsoon is here, officially.
The Met office announced on Wednesday the entry of southwest monsoon in the state as people in several places, including Patna, had a tryst with pre-monsoon thundershowers in the afternoon.
Weathermen claimed that the monsoon entered through the eastern districts of Purnea, Katihar and Kishanganj. The mid-day monsoon bulletin released by India Meteorological Department (IMD) headquarters stated that northern limit of monsoon was passing through Darbhanga and Raxaul on Wednesday.
With the monsoon having reached up to Raxaul in East Champaran by Wednesday, weathermen claimed that the rain-bearing clouds would cover the rest of the state, including Patna, during the next 48 hours.
Ashish Sen, director, Patna Meteorological Centre, termed the entry of monsoon in the state “marginally delayed”.
“The normal date of entry of southwest monsoon in Bihar through eastern parts is June 11 and it covers the entire state by June 13. However, this time, it has made its entry on June 18, which is a delay of seven days. Such a delay of a week’s time is categorised marginal,” said Sen.
Though marginal but this is the sixth consecutive year when southwest monsoon has made a late entry in Bihar. Last year (2013), the monsoon entered through Purnea on June 15 and covered the entire state on the same day. The monsoon entered normally the last time was in 2008 (June 10).
On the other hand, the thundershowers on Wednesday afternoon gave the much-needed respite from the sultry weather conditions. The rain started around 2pm and continued for around half-an-hour.
Many youngsters were seen enjoying the showers by hitting the streets and hangout zones with friends. “I was eagerly waiting for the rain for quite some as the city had extreme sultry weather over the past couple of weeks. I wanted to enjoy the rain, thus I called two of my friend and we went around the city on motorbike,” said Ravi Bhushan, a student of Patna University.
The rainy clouds over the city, however, cleared within an hour showing a typical characteristic of localised pre-monsoon thundershowers. Weathermen claimed that such localised pre-monsoon showers might recur over the next 48 hours till the monsoon rainfall starts in the city.
Though monsoon is delayed in Bihar but it is expected to pick up as it soon as it covers Patna and rest of the state by June 20. Weathermen claimed that a cyclonic- circulation over the Bay of Bengal is likely to give a thrust to the monsoon current in eastern states of Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand and Odisha over the next couple of days.
“The cyclonic circulation is expected to lead to cause heavy moisture incursion in the region, which, in turn would give a thrust to the monsoon current. As a result, we expect that monsoon would be highly active over entire Bihar, leading to moderate to heavy rainfall from June 21 to 24,” said Sen.
The Met director added that the rain might further intensify if the cyclonic circulation in the Bay of Bengal develop in a low-pressure area.
About overall monsoon rainfall, Sen said Bihar is likely to receive 99 (±) 8 per cent of the long period average rainfall this year, which is 1,024mm for the four monsoon months — June, July, August and September.
Bihar has been facing meteorological droughts over the past two years. The state received 30 per cent deficient rainfall in the monsoon season last year (2013), making it the lowest rainfall over the past 10 years.
The IMD has predicted more than 70 per cent chances of El Niño weather phenomenon hitting monsoon in India this year.
El Niño, a Spanish word for “Christ Child”, is an abnormal warming of water in the Equatorial Pacific Ocean, which has been commonly associated in the past with poor rainfall in South Asia.