As the advance of the southwest monsoon over Lakshadweep, Comorin and Maldives is set to take place during the next 24 hours, it may not be a smooth start to the rainy season over mainland India this year.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) had, earlier this month, said that the monsoon onset over Kerala would take place on May 27, with a standard deviation of four days on either side. With the onset having missed this date, it is most likely to arrive over the southern state of Kerala on time, that is, close to its normal date of June 1.
According to the latest Extended Range Forecast (ERF) issued by the IMD, after the onset over Kerala, the progress over Karnataka, Goa and the entire northeast India – where the monsoon’s initial advancement happens – appears to be slow.
The ERF shows that the rainfall activity will remain normal to below normal till about June 8 along these areas.
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Despite this, the monsoon could still make a timely entry and make up for this slow progress. As for instance, the normal date for monsoon arrival over Guwahati, Dibrugarh, Agartala, Dimapur, Udupi, Chennai is June 4; over Tezpur, Aizawl, Shillong, Imphal and Itanagar is June 5; over Gangawati is June 6; and Goa is June 7.
However, the IMD has a word of caution for farmers before they take up sowing ahead of the kharif season. “The farmers must not be in a hurry to carry out sowing, anticipating good rainfall over their regions soon after onset over Kerala. The IMD is continuously monitoring the onset over Kerala,” said an IMD official on Friday.
All southern states/UTs have received above normal rainfall since March with Karnataka (149 per cent), Lakshadweep (137 per cent), Kerala (108 per cent), Puducherry (65 per cent) and Andhra Pradesh (37 per cent) as on May 26. Only Telangana (minus 30 per cent) remains rain deficient during the pre-monsoon season.
This year, the IMD has predicted normal rainfall with chances of 99 per cent rainfall of the Long Period Average (LPA).
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