September rainfall helping agriculture in Maha: IMD
Meanwhile, the recent spell in Pune district brought a good amount of water in the dam catchment areas, and Khadakwasla dam experienced a 7% increase in water levels in the last 24 hours
Pune: Rainfall received from September 1 to 27 and active monsoon conditions throughout the month are helping agriculture in Maharashtra. This will be particularly useful for the Rabi harvest or winter crop, said an official from the India Meteorological Department (IMD).
Meanwhile, the recent spell in Pune district brought a good amount of water in the dam catchment areas, and Khadakwasla dam experienced a 7% increase in water levels in the last 24 hours. The IMD expects more rain in the state in the next eight to 10 days, and it is expected that rain activity in the coming days will help reduce the rainfall deficit in the state, especially in the Marathwada region which is experiencing a huge rainfall deficit.
Early in May this year, the IMD had predicted normal to below-normal rainfall in Maharashtra this monsoon season between June and September. As El Nino was likely to impact rainfall this year, the department had expected rainfall activity to remain subdued. The department had forecast that the positive Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) might have a positive impact on rainfall in the latter phase in August and September. The late arrival of the monsoon, weak monsoon conditions, and a month-long monsoon break in August raised concerns over agriculture in Maharashtra. Even the July rainfall could not help bridge the rainfall deficit in the state. However, back-to-back systems which formed in the Bay of Bengal, helped in the revival of the monsoon over Maharashtra in September and the state received good rainfall in many areas, especially in the Marathwada sub-division
K S Hosalikar, head of climate services and research, IMD Pune, said, “September has brought good rainfall in Maharashtra. There were some instances when districts in Vidarbha and north Maharashtra experienced flood-like conditions. Many districts in Marathwada too received good rainfall. The Konkan and Goa sub-divisions have already exceeded the rainfall limit this monsoon season.”
“This scenario is helpful for agriculture in Maharashtra, especially during the Rabi season as it will help maintain the moisture in the soil and recharge groundwater sources. The majority of reservoirs are experiencing good water storage which will help in meeting irrigation and drinking water demands,” said Hosalikar.
As the Vidarbha region requires both heat and moisture for agriculture, September has been a good month for the farming sector, said Milind Phadke, former IMD official and weather expert.
September rainfall till date
With 221.8 mm of rainfall, Maharashtra is experiencing 32% excess rainfall from September 1 till date. All sub-divisions in the state are on the positive side of rainfall. While Konkan and Goa, central Maharashtra, and Vidarbha sub-divisions are experiencing ‘excess’ category rainfall, Marathwada is experiencing ‘normal’ category rainfall. Nearly 12 districts in the state are experiencing excess category rainfall while nine districts are experiencing large excess category rainfall in September. Among the nine districts experiencing large excess category rainfall in September, five are from the Vidarbha sub-division and four from the north Maharashtra region. At least five districts are experiencing normal category rainfall. Four districts in south Maharashtra including Sangli, Satara, Solapur and Osmanabad have reported high rainfall deficit.
Pune district received 22% excess rainfall
In September, Pune district received 22% excess rainfall between September 1 and 27. The rainfall was recorded as 203.2 mm against the normal rainfall of 166.7 mm. Pune city area also experienced good rainfall in September. Vineet Kumar, a former researcher at the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), said, “In September, the city received 137.8mm of rainfall and the month is now the second-most rainy month of this season. Earlier, the city recorded 204.6 mm of rainfall in 2022; and 78.8mm in 2021 between September 1 and 27.”
Significant increase in Khadakwasla dam water level
Due to the intense spells in the district over the last three days, dams in the Khadakwasla cluster have recorded a significant increase in water levels. As per the state irrigation department data, “The Khadakwasla dam recorded a 7% increase in water level in the last 24 hours. On September 27, the water level in Khadakwasla was 81.43%; up from 74% on September 26. Till date, the Khadakwasla dam has recorded 77% water storage while the other three dams in the district including Bhama Askhed, Warasgaon and Panshet have recorded 100% water storage.