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Monsoon May Hit Kerala by June 3 After a Delay of Two Days, Says IMD

Representational image.

Representational image.

IMD Director General M Mohapatra said there is cyclonic circulation along the Karnataka coast which is hindering the progress of the Southwest Monsoon.

Southwest Monsoon is likely to make an onset over Kerala by June 3 after a delay of two days, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Sunday. IMD Director General M Mohapatra said there is cyclonic circulation along the Karnataka coast which is hindering the progress of the Southwest Monsoon. However, Skymet Weather, a private forecasting agency, said monsoon has already arrived in Kerala. Skymet’s president (meteorology) GP Sharma said it is a "very weak onset" this year. The private body had earlier predicted that monsoon will make an onset over Kerala on May 30.

"The southwesterly winds could strengthen further gradually from June 1, resulting in likely enhancement in rainfall activity over Kerala. Hence the monsoon onset over Kerala is likely to take place around June 3," the IMD said. Due to strengthening of lower level southwesterly winds, fairly widespread rainfall activity with isolated heavy falls are very likely over northeastern states during the next five days. The normal onset date for the monsoon over Kerala is June 1. This marks the start of the four-month rainfall season for the country. Earlier this month, the IMD had predicted the arrival of monsoon over Kerala by May 31 with an error margin of plus or minus four days. On Sunday morning, the IMD, in its daily bulletin, said the onset of the monsoon over Kerala was expected to be around May 31. However, by afternoon it said the onset is expected to be by June 3. According to the IMD, the onset of the southwest monsoon over Kerala depends on three parameters. If after May 10, 60 per cent of the 14 stations — Minicoy, Amini, Thiruvananthapuram, Punalur, Kollam, Allapuzha, Kottayam, Kochi, Thrissur, Kozhikode, Thalassery, Kannur, Kudulu and Mangalore report rainfall of 2.5 millimetres or more for two consecutive days, the onset over Kerala be declared on the second day, provided other two criteria are also in concurrence. This has to be supplemented by the wind speed. The depth of westerlies should be maintained up to 600 hectopascal (hPa), in the box equator to Latitude 10-degrees north and Longitude 55 degrees to 80-degrees east. The zonal wind speed over the area bounded by Latitude 5 to 10-degrees north, Longitude 70-80-degrees east should be of the order of 15 20 knots at 925 hPa. The Outgoing Longwave Radiation (OLR) should be below 200 watt per square meter (wm-2) in the box confined by Latitude 5-10 degrees north and Longitude 70-75 degrees east.

Sharma said all the IMD parameters are fulfilled to declare the onset of Southwest Monsoon over Kerala. "In the absence of any major monsoon trigger, the onset may be slightly mild. Conditions are favourable for its further advancement to more parts of the south peninsula and east-central Bay of Bengal. Timely progress is expected over northeast India," Sharma said. Mohapatra said the depth of westerlies is not as much as it is expected. Plus, the rainfall parameters remain unfulfilled to declare onset of monsoon over Kerala. Monsoon is expected to be normal this year.

Meanwhile, an IIT-Bombay professor called out Skymet for stating that monsoon has arrived in Kerala.

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“Onset criteria hasn’t been met yet," wrote the associate professor, Sridhar Balasubramanian, on Twitter.

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first published:May 30, 2021, 19:05 IST