Telangana could experience its driest August in six decades.

Hyderabad is witnessing an unusual rain shortfall this August, marking one of the lowest monthly rainfalls recorded in the past 60 years. Data from the Telangana State Development and Planning Society (TSDPS) indicates that the state has received an average of only 74.4mm of rainfall in August, which is a staggering 60% below the normal average. This year’s August rainfall ranks as the third lowest in the state’s history, with the driest being in 1968, when a mere 42.7mm of rainfall was recorded.

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The situation is particularly concerning due to the alteration in the typical rainfall pattern. Experts have noted that this year has displayed an atypical trend. Telangana usually experiences around 120 days of the monsoon season, with 60 to 70 days receiving substantial rainfall, and the rest characterized by breaks in the monsoon. Typically, these periods of rainfall occur in four to five episodes of around 15 days each.

However, this year, it seems that there will be only two such episodes, spanning 30 to 40 days in total. This extended break in rainfall phases could adversely impact crop growth, according to A Sravani, a scientist from IMD Hyderabad.

While Telangana still falls within the normal range of monsoon rainfall due to July’s significant precipitation, the near washout in August is expected to lead to a substantial decline. This year’s monsoon break has extended for four weeks, twice the usual duration of two weeks.

Researchers attribute these dry conditions to the influence of El Niño, a phenomenon known to suppress rainfall. The reduced rainfall in August is attributed to a prolonged break in the monsoon pattern. This results in greater rainfall activity in hilly northern regions and the foothills of the Himalayas, while states like Telangana experience subdued rainfall. Such breaks are not uncommon during the southwest monsoon season, but they are exacerbated by large-scale factors like the El Niño phenomenon, which restricts the development of monsoon low-pressure systems over the Bay of Bengal.

Weather experts, however, hold some optimism for September. It is anticipated that Telangana could experience improved rainfall in September compared to August, owing to the development of a positive Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD). This phenomenon involves temperature fluctuations across the Indian Ocean, potentially enhancing rainfall in the core monsoon region.

While a week of high heat is expected at the end of August, a monsoon break is also projected for the second week of September. Following this break, better rainfall conditions are anticipated for the state, providing some relief from the challenging weather conditions.

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