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Monsoon progressing well, say Met officials
Vibha Sharma
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 13
Farmers need not panic as the information about the monsoon available on date does not predict any grim scenario, but Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) officials are playing it safe and not making any guesses on when it will hit other parts of the country, particularly the North.

As per the IMD, the normal date for the onset of the monsoon over Delhi is June 29. In Punjab and Haryana, it arrives around this very date with a standard deviation of eight days. While the IMD officials are keeping their fingers crossed, the monsoon is not likely to reach these areas very early.

The last year was a bad monsoon year with 13 per cent rainfall deficiency. And with severe heat wave continuing in most parts of the North and central India, particularly in the east-central part with some regions registering temperature more than 10 degrees above normal, people are waiting for a good monsoon, and on time.

The officials say except for Kerala, where the monsoon arrival date is predicted well in advance, the forecast for its advancement to the rest of the country is issued depending on the strength of the monsoon. The monsoon being a rather complex phenomenon, that depends upon several factors, including the all-important El Nino factor, subsequent predictions are made after monitoring the current weather situation and other parameters, they add.

For 2005, the IMD predicted a normal monsoon with 98 per cent of the long-period average for the country as a whole within an error margin of plus or minus 5 per cent. This forecast will be further updated in the last week of June, along with the forecast for the country as a whole and four homogeneous regions, along with the July rainfall that is so important for farmers.

The monsoon, as per the officials, is progressing quite well. But it has not progressed from where it last advanced to some parts of the east-central Arabian Sea, Goa, coastal Karnataka and most parts in its south-interior, Tamil Nadu and parts of coastal Andhra Pradesh on June 8.

The monsoon had hit Kerala on June 5 with a delay of around four days. It was delayed by around 10 days in the Andaman and Nicobar islands. While the North-East is reporting good pre-monsoon showers, the monsoon has not yet hit the region.

But the officials say some positive signals have been noticed in the Bay of Bengal and the rainfall activity will increase in the North-East in the next couple of days.

Some weakening phase has been noticed in the Arabian branch of the monsoon. However, there is nothing unusual in it, say the officials, adding that in any case the monsoon doesn't advance at a standard speed.

The phenomenon is pulsating in nature and at present north-ward pulse has weakened. But after weakening of a pulse, another one usually develops which helps progress monsoon over other regions. The officials say farmers and others need not panic as the available information did not indicate any grim scenario.

Meanwhile, a dust haze has developed over Delhi and parts of Rajasthan, Punjab and Haryana due to prevailing strong winds from the north-western region, besides occasional dust storms in the region. And unless rains, or very strong winds from an area that does not have dust come, the haze is likely to persist.



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