South West monsoon hits Kerala three days early; south Karnataka, central Arabian Sea, parts of Bay of Bengal to receive rain in next 48 hours

The South West monsoon hit Kerala on Tuesday, three days before its scheduled arrival in the coastal state, said the India Meteorological Department (IMD). "Widespread rainfall occurred over Kerala in the past three-four days. The 14 rainfall monitoring stations for monsoon onset over the state have reported more than 60 percent rainfall from 25 May," IMD was quoted as saying by various reports.

Skymet, a private weather forecasting agency also announced the arrival of the early monsoon in Kerala on Twitter.

The conditions are favourable for further advance of the monsoon into some parts of central Arabian Sea, remaining parts of Kerala, parts of coastal and south interior Karnataka, parts of east-central and northeast Bay of Bengal, and some parts of northeastern states during the next 48 hours, it said. The onset of monsoon over the southern state of Kerala marks the commencement of the four-month long rainy season in the country.

"Today, the southwest monsoon has further advanced into remaining parts of southeast Arabian Sea, Comorin–Maldives area, entire Lakshadweep, most parts of Kerala, some parts of Tamil Nadu and some more parts of southwest, central and northeast Bay of Bengal. Thus, the southwest monsoon has set in over Kerala, on 29 May 2018, three days ahead of its normal date," the IMD said.

 South West monsoon hits Kerala three days early; south Karnataka, central Arabian Sea, parts of Bay of Bengal to receive rain in next 48 hours

Representational image. Reuters

1 June is the official onset date for arrival of monsoon in the country and it takes more than a month-and-half to cover the entire country. The usual date for the monsoon over Sri Ganganagar in Rajasthan, its last post, is 15 July. This is the second consecutive year when the monsoon has made an early arrival. Last year, the annual rainy season commenced on 30 May.

Owing to the arrival of monsoon, isolated places over coastal and south interior Karnataka, Kerala, Lakshadweep, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura are expected to receive "heavy to very heavy rain" on Thursday.

But there will be no respite from hot weather conditions in parts of north and central India.

Heat wave conditions are "very likely" to severely affect parts of west Rajasthan, one or two pockets over east Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh tomorrow.

The IMD has also issued an alert of thunderstorm accompanied with squall at isolated places in Uttar Pradesh tomorrow.

"Thunderstorm  accompanied with gusty winds  very likely  at  isolated  places  over  Himachal   Pradesh,   Uttarakhand,   Punjab,  Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi, Bihar and sub­ Himalayan West Bengal and Sikkim," the weather body said.

According to the IMD, if after 10 May, 60 percent of the available 14 stations — Minicoy, Amini, Thiruvananthapuram, Punalur, Kollam, Alappuzha, Kottayam, Kochi, Thrissur, Kozhikode, Thalassery, Kannur, Kudlu and Mangalore — report 2.5 mm or more rainfall for two consecutive days, the onset of monsoon over Kerala can be declared on the second day. This is one of the main parameters for declaring the arrival of monsoon.

Besides this factor, the westerly winds must be up to 15,000 feet above main sea level and outgoing long-wave radiation less than 200 wm-2 (watt per square metre) to declare the arrival of monsoon. All the necessary parameters were met following which the onset of monsoon over Kerala was announced today, Mritunjay Mohapatra, Additional Director General, IMD said.

The southwest monsoon is responsible for about 70 percent of the country's annual rainfall and is critical to the economy, that is still largely dependent on agriculture. The IMD has made a forecast of "normal" rainfall this season. Last year, the MeT department recorded a "below-normal rainfall".

With inputs from PTI

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Updated Date: May 30, 2018 13:40:48 IST