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News: This year marked the third-longest monsoon break of the 21st century, following breaks in 2002 and 2009.
What is Monsoonal Break?
• A monsoon break is a period of time when the monsoon rains are interrupted or reduced in some regions of India. It usually occurs in July and August, which are the peak months of the monsoon season. There are two types of monsoon breaks: active and break.
• An active break is when the rainfall is less than normal over most parts of India, but it is still above normal over some areas, especially the eastern and northeastern parts. This happens when the monsoon trough, which is a low-pressure zone that brings moist winds from the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal, shifts closer to the Himalayan foothills. An active break can last for a few days to a week.
• A break monsoon is when the rainfall is significantly below normal over almost all parts of India, except for some isolated places in the extreme north and south. This happens when the monsoon trough weakens or moves away from India, and the high-pressure systems from the west and the east dominate the weather. A break monsoon can last for more than a week, and sometimes even for a month.
Which factor has influenced Monsoon break this year?
• The rainfall deficit for the month is around 36%, and it could potentially reach 40% by the end of August. This is due to the impact of El Nino, which is a climatic phenomenon that causes warmer than normal sea surface temperatures in the Pacific Ocean and affects the global weather patterns.
• El Nino tends to weaken or delay the monsoon in India, and also increases the chances of a rain deficit in September.
• The prolonged monsoon break is concerning, especially as it coincides with a ban on rice exports, a crucial Kharif crop.