New Delhi: India’s monsoon may not arrive on Friday due to a cyclonic pressure over the Arabian Sea but the annual rains are still expected to arrive nearly on time, weather officials said on Thursday.
The annual rains are crucial for farm output and economic growth as about 55% of the south Asian nation’s arable land is rain-fed, and farm sector accounts for about 15% of a nearly $2-trillion economy, Asia’s third-biggest.
State-run India Meteorological Department (IMD) earlier this month said the monsoon rains were likely to hit the southern coast Kerala coast on 1 June, give or take 4 days.
“We are holding to our monsoon onset forecast which has a variation of four days,” said B.P. Yadav, a director of the (IMD).
Yadav ruled out any need to revise IMD’s earlier forecast of average monsoon rains in 2012, the third year without drought.
“There is no evidence to suggest (any) direct relationship between the onset and overall success of the monsoon, which depends on the total rainfall,” said DS Pai, the chief of the IMD’s long range forecast.
In 2005, monsoon hit the Kerala coast on 7 June but overall rains were average during the four-month rainy season. In 2011, the weather office forecast the arrival of monsoon on 31 May but the rains arrived two days ahead of the estimate.
The IMD forecast has forecast average rains in 2012, for the third straight year.
A normal or average monsoon means rainfall between 96-104% of a 50-year average of 89 centimetres in total during a four-month season from June, according to the India’s weather office classification.
The June-September rainy season starts over the Kerala coast and covers the rest of India and neighbouring countries such as Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal by mid-July.