Rainy season to start late; IMD predicts monsoon2019 will hit Kerala coast on June 6

The southwest monsoon is going to hit Kerala on June 6, about five days after the normal date of arrival in mainland India, and it is expected to be sluggish in its progression, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Wednesday.

Eaqrlier the private weather forecaster Skymet had set the date of onset of monsoon over Kerala as June 4.  The southwest monsoon usually hits the coast of Kerala on June 1, with a standard deviation of seven days.

The IMD has added that “conditions are becoming favourable for advance of sourthwest monsoon over the southern part of the Andaman Sea, Nicobar Islands and adjoining southeast Bay of Bengal during May 18 to 19”. As per Skymet, the monsoon will hit the far flung archipelago of India on May 22.

The monsoon this year is predicted to be “near normal” with around 96 per cent of well-distributed rainfall, the weather office said last month.

The forecast stands at a moderate error estimate of plus-minus 5 per cent of the Long Period Average (LPA) of 887 mm — the average or normal rainfall in the country defined between 96 and 104 per cent of a 50-year average for the entire four-month monsoon season.

Late advent does not necessarily mean a weak monsoon

A late advent does not necessarily mean a weak monsoon. The monsoon is a dynamic phenomenon with many aspects to it—advent, progress, distribution and strength—each of which is decided by a whole host of factors. Last year, for instance, while there was a deluge in Kerala, several other states, specially in the northeast, had rain deficits.

However, the bad news is that Skymet also announced that monsoon this season would be below normal across the country, with northeast, east and central regions of India likely to be the worst affected. However, IMD has not made any fresh updates.

The pre-monsoon activity so far, too, has been rather disappointing, with an overall seasonal deficit in the country at 21 per cent. The northwest with 37 per cent deficit and the peninsula with a deficit of 39 per cent, have fared the worst, according to IMD.