Monsoon slow, to miss forecast date

Met dept refuses to call it a delay

Monsoon slow, to miss forecast date

The onset of southwest monsoon over Kerala has been delayed from the date forecast by the Met department due to its “sluggish” pace.

The normal date for onset of monsoon over Kerala is June 1. It also marks the official onset of rains in the country. This year, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) had predicted that it would hit the southern state on May 30.

According to Skymet, a private forecasting agency, monsoon arrived over the Andaman and Nicobar Islands on May 16, three days prior to the onset date. Since then, the advance has been slow. By May 21, the southwest monsoon advanced over the Bay of Bengal touching southern parts of Sri Lanka. But thereon, the monsoon stagnated for a week.

“The Arabian Sea branch of the southwest monsoon made very slow advance, and is yet to reach the extreme southern tip of India (Kerala). Cloud build-up on either side of the sea was looking promising till a few days ago for timely onset over Kerala. However, it slowed down as the cloud pattern became a little diffused and unorganised,” said Skymet.

However, the IMD has refused to call it a delay, saying the progress was sluggish. “There is a difference of plus-minus four days, which is from May 27 to June 3. At this moment, monsoon has already entered the Arabian Sea, crossed Sri Lanka and entered the Bay of Bengal. We are closely monitoring its progress. During the progress of monsoon, it is often observed that its pace varies,” said IMD Deputy Director Krishnanand Hosalikar.

But pre-monsoon rain is still being observed in Karnataka and Kerala.“In the last 24 hours, Karnataka has observed good rainfall. Kerala, too, experienced good rain on May 28, with Pampakuda in Ernakulam district recording 55 mm of rain. Udayanampuram in Kottayam district received 37 mm of rain, while Mundathicode in Thrissur received 30 mm of rainfall. On May 29, rainfall in Kerala became minimal, with isolated places receiving very light rain.

“However, in the last 24 hours, some rainfall has been observed in the state, but the weather activity has been patchy in nature, which is not characteristic of the monsoon,” added Skymet.  * Normal date for onset of monsoon over Kerala is June 1. It also marks official onset of rain in the country

* Met Department had predicted monsoon over Kerala on May 30

* Arabian Sea branch of southwest monsoon made very slow advance, and is yet to reach extreme southern tip of India

* Cloud build-up, which looked promising a few days ago, slowed down as cloud pattern became diffused and unorganised

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