THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala recorded a 34% deficit in monsoon rainfall in June, causing concern to farmers and affecting inflow into its reservoirs. The chances of monsoon gaining strength in the coming weeks are unlikely as the southwesterly wind, which brings rain clouds to the state, is weak. Back-to-back cyclones had triggered heavy rain in the state last month, prior to the arrival of the Southwest Monsoon.
Met Department senior scientist P S Biju told TNIE that present conditions are not favourable for a normal monsoon. “First, the monsoon wind should be 15-20 knots to bring the clouds bearing rain over the state, but it is yet to gain strength. Further, other major factors affecting the monsoon are neutral now,” he said. Kerala used to get around 64cm rainfall in June during a normal monsoon, but it has recorded only 40.7cm so far. Yet the Met Department expects the state to receive a normal monsoon this time.
The officials also said that the timing of the arrival of monsoon has nothing to do with its performance. Due to poor rain, water level in Idukki dam — the largest in the state — has dipped to 48% of its total storage capacity. Water level is going down in most of the 39 rivers in the state as well, according to the State Disaster Management data.