Monsoon rains likely to arrive on Kerala coast on 30 May
India looks likely to receive higher monsoon rainfall than previously forecast as concern over the El Nino weather condition has eased
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New Delhi: The southwest monsoon that irrigates most of India’s farm lands is likely to hit the Kerala coast on time, the government weather office said on Tuesday.
The southwest monsoon is likely to set over the coastal state on 30 May, with an error margin of four days, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said in its forecast. The normal date of onset is 1 June.
The monsoon hit the Nicobar Islands and the entire south Andaman Sea on 15 May, two days ahead of the normal date of 17 May.
The monsoon is crucial for India’s farmers, many of whom are facing drought-like conditions. The forecasts on strength and onset of monsoon are keenly watched as the sowing depends on it.
Last week, IMD director general K.J. Ramesh had said India could get more rain than previously forecast since the probability of the so-called Indian Ocean Dipole, a condition that nullifies the effect of the El Niño, has risen substantially. El Niño is a weather condition that develops due to excessive warming of the Pacific Ocean, disrupting the southwest monsoon pattern and often leading to drought-like conditions.
India receives 70% of its annual rainfall during this period, irrigating over half of its farm lands. The forecast for the onset of monsoon has been correct in the past 12 years since 2005 except 2015. In 2015, the forecast date was 30 May, while the monsoon arrived on 5 June.
Past data, however, suggests there is no association of the date of monsoon advance over the Andaman Sea either with the date of monsoon onset over Kerala or with seasonal monsoon rainfall over the country.
“The timely arrival of normal monsoon will keep the inflation lower in the coming months, but for that we need to be sure that this monsoon is spatially distributed,” said Madan Sabnavis, chief economist at ratings company CARE Ltd.