Southwest monsoon arrival on May 31, says IMD

IMD, in its statement, said the Southwest Monsoon is likely to advance into the South Andaman Sea, some parts of the Southeast Bay of Bengal and the Nicobar Islands around May 19.
Image used for representational purposes only.
Image used for representational purposes only.Photo | Express

NEW DELHI: The Indian Meteorological Department has forecast that the southwest monsoon will set in a day earlier over Kerala, which would give respite from scorching heat wave over the southern peninsula.

This year, the southwest monsoon is likely to set over Kerala on May 31, with a model error of ±4 days.

The normal date of southwest monsoon arrival over the Kerala coast is June 1. However, in 2022, the southwest monsoon hit the Kerala coast on 29 May though the IMD termed it as near normal arrival.

“This is not early,” said Dr Mrutyunjay Mohapatra, Director General Meteorology, IMD.

“It’s a near-normal date, as the normal date for the onset of monsoon over Kerala is 1 June,” he further said.

IMD, in its statement, said the Southwest Monsoon is likely to advance into the South Andaman Sea, some parts of the Southeast Bay of Bengal and the Nicobar Islands around May 19.

The advance of the southwest monsoon over the Indian mainland is marked by monsoon onset over Kerala. It is an important indicator characterising the transition from hot and dry season to a rainy season.

As the monsoon progresses northward, relief from scorching summer temperatures is experienced over the areas.

“A robust development of the cross-equatorial monsoon flow after May 20,” said Dr Akshay Deoras, a Research Scientist at the National Centre for Atmospheric Science & Dept. of Meteorology, University of Reading, UK who tracks Indian monsoon.

“In fact, the monsoon can reach Kerala on time or a few days before 1 June,” he further said. IMD’s operational forecasts of the date of monsoon onset over Kerala during the past 19 years (2005–2023) were proved to be correct except in 2015.

In 2015, the monsoon onset over Kerala was on June 5, against the IMD forecast of May 30.

IMD uses its indigenously developed six predictors in the models, such as minimum temperatures over north-west India, a pre-monsoon rainfall peak over the south peninsula, outgoing longwave radiation over the South China Sea and Southwest Pacific Ocean, and lower and upper troposphere zonal wind over the equatorial southeast and northeast Indian Ocean.

Between 2006–11, SWM had continuously arrived in May, then in 2017–18, 2022, in the past 20 years. The earliest ever arrival of the monsoon was in 2009 (May 23), followed by 2006 (May 26).

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