Mumbai: Despite an early beginning, Indian monsoon may progress slowly during the June-September period, a senior weather official told Reuters on Wednesday.
“Early arrival of monsoon and a cyclonic formation has taken a lot of energy from the system ... now the progress of monsoon is likely to be slow,” said a director with the India Meteorological Department, on condition of anonymity.
The weather official said Maharashtra, India’s biggest producer of sugarcane, kharif pulses and second biggest producer of cotton, soybean, may see a delay in monsoon arrivals.
“Maharashtra may not get rains in time...monsoon may reach Mumbai after the scheduled 10 June … there may be a two-three day delay,” said the director, who’s also a scientist.
“The arrival may be delayed in other parts of India also impacting distribution.”
Annual monsoon rains, vital for India’s farm-dependent rainfed economy, hit the country’s southern coast, a week before scheduled 1 June, raising hopes of early sowing of rice, oilseeds and cotton.
The monsoon then witnessed a week’s lull before advancing further.
“From present atmospheric situation I see no further progress till next 3-4 days,” he said.
India’s summer-sown crops accounted for 52% of the estimated food crop output of 229.85 million tonnes in the year to June 2009, the farm ministry said this month.
Though the early onset of monsoon is good for the economy, the distribution of rains in the subsequent four months is important for farm output.
In April, the India Meteorological Department said this year’s monsoon rains were likely to be 96% of the long-term average, the lowest in five years.