NEW DELHI, Sept 23 Reuters -- The Indian monsoon gathered pace in September and patchy rains are likely to become stronger during the month, the chief of the state-run weather office said on Thursday. This would reduce the water deficit after a mild spell in July and August.
Plentiful rains are expected to lash most parts of India until the monsoon starts withdrawing after Sept. 30, a later date than usual, said Mrutyunjay Mohapatra, Director General of the Indian Meteorological Department IMD.
Due to unrecoverable areas and cyclonic circulations at regular intervals, we will not see climatic conditions suitable for the monsoon's departure before September 30.
Monsoon rains, which are vital to India's farmers, usually arrive on the Western Kerala coast around 1 June and start retreating from southern state of Rajasthan in September.
Delay rains during the tail end of the season and a dry retreat leave soil moist and replenish reservoirs, helping winter crops, like wheat, which rely on irrigation, unlike rain-fed summer crops.
After hitting the India coast on 3 June, the monsoon had spread by mid-June to two-thirds of the Kerala coast, almost 15 days early than expected. It became tapering during the third week of June.
Rains in June were 10% below average but 7% below average in July and 24% below average in August. So far in September, Monsoon Rains are 29% above the average, the IMD data showed.
September rains indicate that the monsoon has panned out in line with our expectation, and overall monsoon rains are expected to be normal throughout the entire season, Mohapatra said.
The IMD defines normal precipitation as between 96% and 104% of a 50 year average of 88 cms 34 inches for the four month season from June until June.
The IMD said that in September this month India was likely to get below average rain and overall rains were expected to be around the lower end of the average.