KOCHI: A long-range forecast issued by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) says the state is expected to receive above-normal rainfall over the next two weeks. A cyclonic circulation lies over southeast Arabian Sea and the adjoining Maldives area at 0.9km above mean sea level which may intensify into a depression by May 20. The monsoon surge is expected to hit Kerala coast by June 1.
The intermittent summer showers over the past two months have helped the state to escape the sweltering heat at bay. The state has received 29 per cent excess rainfall during the period and the scattered rainfall has helped to keep the groundwater table steady. “A low pressure area is likely to form over central parts of south Arabian Sea by the third week of May and there is a low probability of its intensification by May 20. Cumulatively, above-normal rainfall is likely over Kerala during the next two weeks,” the IMD said.
Moderate La Niña conditions, a climate pattern that causes cooling of surface ocean waters, are prevailing over equatorial Pacific and sea surface temperature is below normal over central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean. Neutral Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) conditions are likely to continue up to July. These conditions are expected to ensure a normal monsoon this year.
“Though the Ministry of Earth Sciences has forecast onset of monsoon by June 1, the monsoon surge may hit Kerala coast before June 1. Thanks to the intermittent summer rains, the temperature hovered around 36 degree Celsius in Kerala and there was no incident of sunstroke this year. The ultraviolet index values were also low. These are the effects of La Niña conditions,” said Cusat department of atmospheric sciences associate professor S Abhilash.
“Usually, low pressure areas will form in Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea by the latter half of May, which will intensify monsoon activity. In the last two years, we have witnessed cyclonic activity in the Arabian Sea during the onset of monsoon which carried away the clouds to the north which delayed the progress of monsoon in Kerala,” said IMD former director S Sudevan.