Monsoon makes rapid progress across India, arrives in Delhi

Monsoon makes rapid progress across India, arrives in Delhi

Riding on strong easterlies, monsoon made a grand entry today in the national capital even as seasonal rains covered the entire country one month in advance.

South-west monsoon, which kept its June 1 date with Kerala, made rapid progress across the country bringing bountiful showers all along and giving relief to most drought- hit regions.

The monsoon onset in Delhi today was also a fortnight in advance as the normal date for seasonal rains in the capital in June 29.

"Monsoon has reached Delhi today and also covered the entire country," Director, India Meteorological Department, Brahm Prakash Yadav, told PTI.

Monsoon rains, which usually cover the entire country by July 15, has covered two-thirds of the landmass by Friday.

"The southwest monsoon was vigorous over Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Konkan and Goa, Madhya Maharashtra, Vidarbha and Kerala, and active over Madhya Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana," the weatherman said.

He said rain and thundershowers would occur at most places over west coast, Lakshadweep, Andaman & Nicobar islands, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Central, eastern and northwestern India over the next three days.

Releasing an update on the monsoon forecast, the weather office had said the country would receive normal and fairly distributed rain in July and August.

Rainfall is expected to be at 101 per cent of long-term average in July and 96 per cent in August.

For the country as a whole, monsoon has been 43 per cent excess till June 15 since onset over Kerala on June 1.

The strong start to the monsoon boosts prospects of robust farm output which could help the economy and hold down inflation, a critical concern for the UPA as it readies for assembly elections later this year and 2014 Lok Sabha polls.

IMD Director General Laxman Singh Rathore had said on Friday that early onset of monsoon has led to early sowing, particularly of coarse cereals in last year's drought-hit regions.

"Whenever there is timely sowing, we have seen that the production is good. Particularly with respect to drought-hit regions of 2012 — the semi-arid corridor which produces coarse cereals - there has been early sowing," he said.

Also, the bright side for paddy crop is that with timely onset of monsoon nursery raising is in place.

"This would facilitate early or timely cross planting," he said.

Rathore said for long-term crops like cotton, sugarcane and plantation crops the irrigation requirement has vanished due to good rains, which would lead to lower cultivation costs and healthy crop.

The weatherman said rainfall has been good in drought-hit regions with Marathwada getting 61 per cent excess rain, Vidarbha (316), Madhya Maharashtra (88), North Interior Karnataka (39), South Interior Karnataka (41) and Saurashtra & Kutch 299 per cent excess rains as of yesterday.

In the national capital, monsoon reached 13 days ahead of schedule bringing relief from scorching heat but commuters were at the receiving end due to water-logging in various places.

"The monsoon has reached Delhi," the MeT office said, adding seasonal rains lashed the capital almost two weeks ahead of its scheduled arrival on June 29.

Last year, the onset of monsoon was delayed by eight days. It had reached Delhi ahead of schedule in 2011 (June 26), but arrived late in 2010 (July five).

While the earliest onset of monsoon in last 30 years in the capital was recorded in 2008 (June 15), the most delayed arrival occurred in 1987 (July 26).

The weather office said 645.7 mm of rains is considered normal for the capital during monsoon.

A senior MeT official said, "Monsoon has arrived virtually in northern India as many states in the region have been lashed by heavy rains ahead of schedule."

"The temperature has also gone down considerably, he said, adding that the sky will be cloudy in the next two to three days with possibility of rains.

"Rains/thundershowers will occur in some areas and may be heavy at one or two places," he said.

He said the minimum temperature in Delhi settled at 23.7 degrees Celsius - four notches below the season's average while humidity was 79 per cent at 8.30 AM.

"The maximum temperature during the day was 34 degrees Celsius," an IMD official said.

Around 36.6 millimetre rainfall was recorded in the capital.

The weather office said 645.7 mm of rains is considered normal for the capital during monsoon.

It said the maximum and minimum temperature will be around 31 degrees Celsius to 24 degrees Celsius in Delhi tomorrow.

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