Southwest Monsoon arrives in Kerala three days ahead of scheduled date

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Southwest Monsoon arrives in Kerala three days ahead of scheduled date

Met dept confirms that conditions have been satisfied for declaration of onset; 10 of 14 monitoring stations report rainfall of 2.5 mm or more in past 24 hours

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Indian monsoon | Indian agriculture | IMD

In what could come as a relief to millions, the southwest monsoon has set in over Kerala on Sunday, three days ahead of its normal onset date of June 1, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.

The Met department said conditions have been satisfied for declaration of onset of monsoon over Kerala on Sunday.

These conditions are depth of westerly winds extending up to 4.5 km above mean sea level and strength of the westerly winds increasing over southeast Arabian Sea.

They also include a rise in cloudiness over southeast Arabian Sea and adjoining areas of Kerala and widespread rainfall activity over Kerala during the past 24 hours.

In the past 24 hours, out of the 14 rainfall monitoring stations for declaring onset of monsoon over Kerala, 10 have received rainfall of 2.5 mm or more.

Earlier, the IMD had forecast onset over Kerala on May 27. The prediction was with a model error of four days.

For the coming few days, the IMD said that conditions are favourable for further advance of southwest monsoon into some parts of central Arabian Sea and remaining parts of Kerala. It will also progress to some parts of Tamil Nadu, parts of Karnataka, parts of Bengal and northeastern states during the next 3-4 days.

Timely onset of monsoon may be a good sign but it does not guarantee strong progress across the country.

However, if rains arrive on time in key agriculture regions of Central, North and West India, it could spur sowing of kharif crops. In this region, acreage this year is expected to be good due to remunerative returns to farmers in the just-concluded rabi harvest. Farm production depends not only on the amount of rain but timeliness and geographical spread of the monsoon.

Private weather forecasting agency Skymet has said that monsoon in the first half of the 2022 season (June and July) is expected to be much better than the second half. This could have a serious impact on the final harvest of crops.

It is because July and August are the most important months in terms of total rain in the four-month monsoon season.

Last month, the IMD said that monsoon over the country in 2022 could be ‘normal’ at 99 per cent of the long period average (LPA).

The forecast is with a model error of plus or minus 5 per cent. Monsoon between 96 and 104 per cent of the LPA is considered normal.

Earlier, Skymet had said that the southwest monsoon in 2022 was expected to be normal at 98 per cent of the LPA. Skymet’s forecast, too, is with an error margin of plus or minus 5 per cent.

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