Southwest monsoon hits Kerala

Southwest monsoon hits Kerala

The southwest monsoon hit Kerala on Friday, six days after its original scheduled date of onset, even as the country braced for what has been predicted to be a season of deficient rainfall.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) cited the “fairly-widespread-to-widespread” rainfall over Kerala during the past 48 hours among conditions that signalled the onset of the monsoon over the state. It has predicted monsoon rainfall in the country this year to be only 88 per cent of the long-period average.

“Out of the 14 rainfall monitoring stations for the onset of monsoon over Kerala, more than 70 per cent have reported rainfall of more than 2.5 mm over the past two days,” said an IMD statement on Friday.

The monsoon has also advanced into some parts of coastal and south-interior Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

The IMD predicted it to cover, over the next 48 hours, more parts of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Rayalaseema, coastal Andhra Pradesh and southern parts of the north-eastern states.

The Met Department had initially forecast the monsoon’s onset over Kerala on May 30.

K Santhosh, director of the Meteorological Centre at Thiruvananthapuram, also confirmed the onset and said stipulated conditions required for the onset’s formal announcement were met by Friday. Kudlu in the Kasaragod district recorded heavy rainfall at 7.7 cm. Hosdurg in Kasaragod, Vythiri in Wayanad and parts of the southern districts, including Kollam and Pathanamthitta, continued to receive moderate rainfall.

Thiruvananthapuram city witnessed heavy showers on Friday morning, but the skies remained clear the rest of the day. Campaigning ahead of the crucial June 27 by-election in the Aruvikkara constituency, about 15 km from the city, was halted due to steady showers throughout the day.

The maximum temperature fell in at least six of Kerala’s 14 districts. Palakkad recorded the highest at 34 degrees Celsius.

The Met Department has predicted rain or thundershowers in the state till Tuesday. A weather warning for fishermen has also been issued.

Last year, Kerala had recorded six per cent excess rainfall during the monsoon months, typically put between June 1 and September 30.

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