Monsoon rains enters Kerala coast, set to cover rest of India within a month
New Delhi, May 30:
As per the forecast of India Meteorological Department (IMD) about two weeks back, southwest monsoon has set over Kerala coast today , a couple of days earlier than usual arrival in the first week of June. This will give boost to kharif (summer) crops — paddy, pulses, cotton etc sowing.
“Widespread rainfall occurred over Kerala, during past two days and 78% of monitoring stations for monsoon onset over Kerala have reported rainfall for the last 48 hours,”, IMD stated in a statement said.
The met department had in its forecast two weeks back had stated that monsoon (June-September) would set over Kerala coast on May 30th with a model error of ± 4 days. Monsoon usually arrives over Kerala in the first week of June, subsequently covers rest of the country during next one month or so.
The met also has noted that conditions are favourable for further advance of southwest monsoon into remaining parts of Kerala, coastal and south interior Karnataka, parts of Tamil Nadu and some more parts of northeastern states during next three to four days.
Experts say that a normal monsoon is expected to give boost to agricultural production as majority of farm land are rainfed and boosts water reservoirs levels leading to improvement in the supplies of drinking water and higher hydel power output.
Meanwhile, the private weather forecaster Skymet said “severe Cyclone Mora has played an important role in the arrival of Monsoon over Indian region,”.
Skymet state that the progress of monsoon will be satisfactory in the coming days and it will move ahead as per the schedule. “We expect Monsoon to advance further between June 5 and June 10. It is likely to cover entire Kerala, Tamil Nadu, parts of Madhya Maharashtra and Konkan and Goa, Andhra Pradesh and remaining parts of northeastern states and some parts of West Bengal,” according to Skymet.
The met department is likely to release its second long range forecast for the monsoon on June 5. In its first long range forecast, IMD had predicted that ‘normal’ rainfall this year at 96% of the benchmark Long Period Average (LPA), with a model error of ± 5%.
IMD Director General K J Ramesh Ramesh had recently said that ‘there is a relatively moderate possibility of El Nino conditions, which adversely impacts progress of monsoon rains, developing during second half of the monsoon months (June-September) and neutral conditions of Indian Ocean Dipole would likely to result in ‘good distribution of rainfall across the country,’.
Last year, the IMD had made an initial forecast of ‘above normal’ rainfall of 106% of LPA, but the actual cumulative rainfall was 97 of the LPA, which falls in ‘normal’ category. Because of normal rainfall last year, the country’s foodgrains production in 2016-17 crop year (July-June) is estimated to reach an all-time record of 273.38 million tonne (MT), which is 8.7% more than last the previous year.
Due to two consecutive years of deficient monsoons (2014 & 2015), the foodgrains production went down to 252 MT in 2014-15 and 2015-16 crop years from 265 MT reported in 2013-14. The southwest monsoon comprises around 70% of the country’s annual rainfall.