M A I N   N E W S

Monsoon early, reaches Kerala

New Delhi, May 29
The Southwest monsoon today made a grand entry into Kerala, bringing cheer to the farming community dependent on rains for a good crop. “The Southwest monsoon has set in over most parts of South Arabian Sea, Kerala, some parts of Tamil Nadu, South Bay of Bengal and south Andaman Sea,” the weather office announced here.

The northern limit of monsoon passes through Aminidivi, Kozhikode, Kodaikanal and Nancowrie.

"Conditions are favourable for the advance of southwest monsoon over some more parts of the Arabian Sea, remaining parts of Kerala, some more parts of Tamil Nadu, south Bay of Bengal, Andaman Sea and some parts of Karnataka in the next 2-3 days," the India Meteorological Department said. Earlier this month, the IMD had said that monsoon would reach Kerala on May 31 with a model error of four days. The onset of southwest monsoon over Kerala heralds the beginning of rainy season in the Indian sub-continent.

The timing, spread and amount of rainfall, which has been forecast at 98 per cent of the 50-year average in India this year, are crucial for the farm-based economy.

The sowing of kharif crops like rice, pulses and oilseeds starts with the arrival of the first rains.

The IMD has also forecast that rainfall during the four month season was “most likely” to be normal this year, at about 98 per cent of the Long Period Average, with a model error of plus or minus five per cent.

However, the forecast is not final and IMD will update it in June after taking into account parameters for which data would be available only by then.

Among other conditions, several international models monitoring El Nino-La Nina have indicated that sea surface temperatures over equatorial Pacific were warming up.

Consequently La Nina conditions, which could have been beneficial for monsoon, have weakened and have reached ENSO neutral condition.

As per recent forecasts by international models, for the period from June-August season, there was a very good chance for the neutral condition to continue — a probability of 57 per cent — against a 22 per cent probability for the re-emergence of La Nina conditions and a 22 per cent probability for the development of El Nino conditions.

IMD officials emphasised that they would keep a close watch on the phenomena to ensure that the country was well prepared in case of any major changes.

Scientists would also closely monitor the developments relating to Indian Ocean Dipole, which relates to anomalies in the sea surface temperatures between eastern and western parts of Indian Ocean. — PTI





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