India Monsoon Case Study: August 5, 2020
Commuters wade through a waterlogged street at Parel after heavy rainfall in Mumbai on August 4. | PTI

India Monsoon Case Study: August 5, 2020

This case study series includes weekly reviews of the monsoon season as it unfolds across India. The 4 month monsoon, [June-September] accounts for 75% of rainfall in India. Nearly half of India’s farmland, without any irrigation, depends on annual June-September rains to grow crops such as rice, maize, sugarcane, cotton, soybeans, pulses and vegetables. 

Observed Rainfall Patterns

This report covers Nepal, Bhutan, and Bangladesh in addition to India. The monsoon over the month of July was wetter than normal in parts of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar as well as in the southern region. The central part of the country was much drier than normal but the overall precipitation over potential evapotranspiration (P/PET) is still well above 1.0.

 

Over the past two days areas near Mumbai have received records rains – over 229.6 mm in just 9 hours.

Forecast Rainfall Patterns

The forecast for the next 7 days shows that rains arriving in Kerala and along the southwestern coast. This area has been quite dry through June-July but is now wetter than normal at least in the forecast for the next 7 days. After an impressive start and good rains in June, the monsoon dwindled somewhat in July in some areas which is a crucial month for growth of young grain plants and oilseeds such as rice, cotton and soybeans (Bloomberg). Many are looking to August for the monsoon to deliver the rains in areas that have been drier than normal.

Weather Variability and Trends: Maharashtra

aWhere’s robust and complete weather data from over 40,000 weather stations in the region can be used to generate actionable insights. Changes in weather patterns and impact on crops and food security are assessed by looking at the past 15 years, current season through yesterday, and 15 days into the future. For the location below, the coefficient of variation (CV) for precipitation is 48% and precipitation over potential evapotranspiration (P/PET) is 45%. CV is a measure of variability and anything above 20% is considered highly variable, at 45-48%, these charts show how variable the rainfall has been in this location particularly in 2020 for the period of June to July. Weather variability makes it difficult for farmers to plan farm operations because it is difficult to predict how the weather will behave.

aWhere’s localized, daily weather data can help governments get ahead of weather events by looking at historical trends coupled with weather forecasts.  Indian farmers need in-time weather-based insights to make informed crop management decisions to increase productivity, profitability and resilience.  Fortunately, the tools and partnerships  now exist to address this knowledge gap – today. 

Please contact us for more information on partnering to build a brighter future for farmers in India.