Monsoon arrives in Kerala; North continues to bake

However, it will accelerate over eastern and northern parts after June 15.
A woman carries a pipe to fetch water from a tanker amid the ongoing heatwave, at Chanakyapuri in New Delhi on Thursday
A woman carries a pipe to fetch water from a tanker amid the ongoing heatwave, at Chanakyapuri in New Delhi on ThursdayPhoto | PTI

NEW DELHI: While most of India continued to bake in the ongoing extreme heat wave, the Southwest monsoon arrived in Kerala two days ahead of schedule on Thursday, the India Meteorological Department announced. The monsoon set in over Kerala and Mahe and advanced into most parts of the Northeast.

The normal day for the monsoon’s arrival in Kerala is June 1. The earliest arrival of the monsoon in Kerala were on May 18 (1990), May 22 (1999) and May 23 (1974). The IMD forecast this monsoon season (June-September) is likely to be above normal — 106% of the Long Period Average (LPA). It will be above normal over Central India and South Peninsular India, normal over Northwest India, and below normal over Northeast India.

Experts say the monsoon’s progression is likely to be on the slower side due to unfavourable Madden-Julian Oscillation – an oceanic-atmospheric phenomenon defined as eastward moving clouds, rainfall, winds and pressure at regular intervals.

However, it will accelerate over eastern and northern parts after June 15. “Slow progression of monsoon towards north India may lead to further extended heat wave period,” said Dr Madhavan Nair Rajeevan, former Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences. Above normal rainfall is good news for agriculture and food security.

Around half of the workforce in the country is still dependent on farming for their livelihood. Last year’s deficit (6% of LPA) and uneven monsoon had impacted food production and the overall agrarian economy. The acreage and production of kharif crops such as pulses, oilseeds and cotton was reduced, which pushed agricultural growth below 1% and raised food inflation. Experts expect better monsoon this year would address the challenge.

Unbearable heat in the north, west

Heat wave to severe heatwave conditions prevailed over many parts of Rajasthan, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi, Jharkhand, East MP; parts of UP and Odisha. Many parts of Punjab, West MP, Chhattisgarh, parts of Bihar, Gujarat and Vidarbha and isolated pockets of Himachal Pradesh, too, witnessed heat wave

To ease gradually

Heat wave to severe heat wave conditions over parts of Northwest and Central India are likely to reduce gradually, the Met office said

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