Southwest monsoon reaches Kerala, three days ahead of schedule: IMD
According to the weather experts, the southwest monsoon arrived on Sunday over the state of Kerala, three days in advance than its expected date of June 1 (Wednesday). Notably, the southwest monsoon is the Indian agri-based economy's lifeblood. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) had earlier predicted that the monsoon would arrive on May 27 in Kerala, with a four-day standard deviation on either side.
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According to the IMD, March was unusually warm this year and it recorded the highest all-India temperature in 122 years. Northwest and central India also experienced their hottest April in 122 years amid heatwaves, leading to an increase in power demands and coal shortages throughout the country. However, with the arrival of the monsoon over the state of Kerala, relief could be in sight.
Statement of IMD on the monsoon's arrival
"Southwest monsoon has set in over Kerala on Sunday, May 29, against the normal date of onset of June 1," said Mrutyunjay Mohapatra, Director General of the IMD. However, following the onset of the rainy season in Kerala, the monsoon in mainland India may not get off to a smooth start as per predictions, Mohapatra added.
Rainfall activity to be below normal till June 8: IMD
According to the IMD's most recent Extended Range Forecast (ERF), after the emergence of the monsoon over Kerala (which has already occurred), progress over Karnataka, Goa, and the rest of the northeastern India, where the monsoon's initial advance occurs, appears to be slow. According to the ERF, rainfall activity will be normal to below normal until around June 8 in these areas.
The monsoon will compensate for the slow progress later: IMD
Nevertheless, the monsoon may compensate for the slow progress in the coming months. On June 4, the monsoon's arrival is expected in Guwahati, Dibrugarh, Agartala, Dimapur, Udupi, and Chennai; on June 5, in Tezpur, Aizawl, Shillong, Imphal, and Itanagar; on June 6 in Gangawati; on June 7 in Goa. This year, normal rainfall is expected with 99% rainfall chances of the long period average.
No heatwave over northern, central India
As of May 26 (Thursday), all southern states/UTs had received above-normal rainfall: Karnataka (149%), Lakshadweep (137%), Kerala (108%), Puducherry (65%), and Andhra Pradesh (37%). During the pre-monsoon season, only Telangana (-30%) is rain-deficient. Meanwhile, the IMD has also forecasted no heatwave conditions over northern and central India for the coming few days, providing some reprieve from the oppressive heat.
Climate change is affecting India
In March, Abinash Mohanty, Programme Lead at the Council on Energy, Environment, and Water (CEEW), said the IMD's heatwave alerts reflect the effects of climate extremes in recent years. This is consistent with projections of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report. "Increase in the intensity and frequency of extreme events...is a result of human-caused landscape disruptions...which causes temperature and precipitation anomalies," Mohanty stated.