New Delhi: The Met department on Sunday predicted a six-day delay in the onset of monsoon that was scheduled to strike Kerala on 1 June. The news comes as a disappointment to the drought-hit parts of the country.
"Forecast suggests that monsoon onset over Kerala this year is likely to be slightly delayed. The Southwest monsoon is likely to set over Kerala on 7 June with a model error of plus or minus four days," the India Metereological Department (IMD) said in its forecast released here.
June 1 is the official onset date of monsoon in India when it hits Kerala.
The delay in the arrival of the monsoon is not good news for the country, which is suffering due to intense heat and is eagerly awaiting the rains. The government recently told the Supreme Court that about 330 million people, or nearly one fourth of the country's population, in 256 districts have been affected by the drought. Many have also died due to sunstroke and dehydration.
Interestingly, forecast of monsoon onset issued during the past 11 years (from 2005-2015) except 2015, has proved to be correct. This includes the error margin of plus or minus four days.
IMD Director General Laxman Singh Rathore said the delay in the monsoon onset was not an "unusual" phenomenon.
He, however, said that there would be some relief to South Indian states from the intense heat as there could be some rainfall in the coming days.
"Currently there is a low pressure area in the Bay of Bengal, which will become a depression and hit Tamil Nadu coast by tonight. This will bring good amount of rainfall to the state, parts of South Interior Karnataka and parts of Kerala," Rathore said.
"...We cannot rule out the possibility of a depression forming in the Bay of Bengal which will help monsoon to set over south Andaman Sea around May 17 and over north Andaman Sea on May 20. This will cause increased rainfall activity in the southern peninsula," S Pai, deputy director general (climate division), Pune IMD, has been quoted a saying in a report in The Indian Express.
Skymet, a private forecasting agency, in its forecast for monsoon onset, had said that monsoon will hit Kerala between 28 and 30 May.
The IMD has already made a forecast that monsoon will be "above normal" this year.
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Updated Date: May 16, 2016 10:53:12 IST