IMD: Monsoon may gain pace in parts of south India in 4-5 days

  • A low pressure area may form over north Bay of Bengal giving the necessary momentum to the rains
  • The late onset of the monsoon has delayed the sowing of kharif crops in major parts of India

NEW DELHI: The southwest monsoon that has remained sluggish so far is likely to gain some pace and advance over some parts of southern states in the next four-five days, said the weather department on Monday.

The upper line of the monsoon continues to pass through Mangaluru, Mysuru, Cuddalore, Goalpara and Gangtok, much behind its normal progress route. It is yet to enter Maharashtra, at a time when it should have normally reached central India.

According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), a low- pressure area is likely to form over the north Bay of Bengal in the next four-five days, which may give the necessary momentum to the monsoon current and improve the rainfall scenario to some extent.

“Conditions are becoming favourable for further advance of Southwest Monsoon into some more parts of Central Arabian Sea, Karnataka, some parts of south Konkan and Goa, Andhra Pradesh, remaining parts of Tamil Nadu, some more parts of West Bay of Bengal, remaining parts of northeast India, Sub-Himalayan West Bengal and Sikkim and some parts of Odisha in the next 4-5 days," said IMD.

The late onset of the monsoon on 8 June has delayed the sowing of kharif crops in major parts of the country. As on Monday, there has been nearly a 43% deficiency in monsoon rains across the country.

Out of the total 36 sub-divisions, 17 have recorded deficit of more than 20%, while it has crossed 60% in as many as 14 sub-divisions, which includes Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rayalaseema, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Telangana and Jharkhand.

“The monsoon usually covers two-third of the country by mid-June; however this year, it has covered only about 10% of it. The regional deficiency for 15 days speaks volumes of its performance, but the conditions may improve after 20 June," said Jatin Singh, managing director of Skymet, a private weather forecaster.

With the weather models indicating formation of a low-pressure area in the Bay of Bengal, rains are likely to improve over east and central parts of India during the last 10 days of June and hasten the progress of the monsoon.

According to Skymet, states including Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Bihar and Jharkhand will benefit from these rains. The period could become favourable for farmers in the region, who have been waiting to start the sowing of kharif crops.

“If there are substantial rains for a couple of days and the temperature remains near 40 degree Celsius, then soybean sowing with other crops can be taken up in Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and the southern parts of the country. If cotton is already sown, it is advisable to avoid irrigation and maintain proper drainage," said Singh.

The tardy progress of the monsoon continues to be worrying factor for the country, facing serious drought-like conditions in several states.

Eight states namely Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Gujarat, Telangana, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh are already reeling under drought after the monsoon remained dismal last year, ending with a deficit of 9.4%.

The prevailing weak El Niño conditions characterized by warming of Pacific waters are also impacting the monsoon current. The ocean phenomenon is not considered favourable for the southwest monsoon and is linked to droughts.

The situation has worsened in some areas because of the onslaught of heatwaves. As per IMD, severe heatwave conditions persist in Bihar, and some parts of coastal Andhra Pradesh, Vidarbha, Telangana and Jharkhand.

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