Deaf to Achhe Din, El Nino De­lays Rains

Mon­soon some dis­tance away from Lankan coast, 4 days af­ter sched­uled ar­rival date

The Economic Times - - Economy & Sports - MAD­HVI SALLY

The first signs of a de­lay in the south­west mon­soon have led to anx­i­ety in In­dia as a heat wave is roast­ing many parts of the coun­try, with tem­per­a­tures soar­ing to 47 de­grees Cel­sius in Ra­jasthan. The mon­soon is still some dis­tance away from the Sri Lankan coast four days af­ter should have hit the is­land.

There’s lit­tle pos­si­bil­ity of early respite on the hori­zon, bar­ring ex­pec­ta­tions of pre-mon­soon show­ers in the south. The weather of­fice does not see any quick progress in the an­nual weather sys­tem that ir­ri­gates fields, re­plen­ishes reser­voirs and stim­u­lates eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity in ru­ral ar­eas. “The cur­rent con­di­tions of the south­west mon­soon with re­gards to cross-equa­to­rial mon­soon flow does not in­di­cate ad­vance of mon­soon dur­ing next three days. How­ever, the dy­nam­i­cal mod­els of IMD are sug­gest­ing the de­vel­op­ment of a mon­soon trough from June 1 on­wards over Ara­bian Sea and Bay of Ben­gal. Heat wave con­di­tions will in­crease and spread across other states in the com­ing days,” said BP Ya­dav, head of the Na­tional Weather Fore­cast­ing Cen­tre at the In­dia Me­te­o­rol­ogy Depart­ment in New Delhi. The mon­soon is fore­cast to be be­low nor­mal this year, pos­ing a big chal­lenge for the newly elected govern­ment of Naren­dra Modi. The agri­cul­ture min­istry has made fran­tic prepa­ra­tions and planned for short-du­ra­tion crops that can with­stand low rain­fall. Mon­soon rain­fall im- pacts the ma­jor­ity of the people in the coun­try, par­tic­u­larly in ru­ral ar­eas as most farms do not have ir­ri­ga­tion fa­cil­i­ties. Low rain­fall also hurts hy­dropower gen­er­a­tion and raises farm de­mand for diesel apart from in­creas­ing the de­mand for elec­tric­ity. This year’s mon­soon may be dis­rupted by the rapidly de­vel­op­ing El Nino phe­nom­e­non that causes droughts and floods in dif­fer­ent parts of the world. The weather of­fice said that apart from the hot af­ter­noon sun, nights are also get­ting warmer with min­i­mum tem­per­a­tures up to 5 de­grees higher than nor­mal in Ra­jasthan and Ma­ha­rash­tra. The Hi­malayan states of Ut­tarak­hand, Jammu and Kash­mir as well as Hi­machal Pradesh are also warmer than nor­mal, weather of­fice data show.

For north In­dia, which saw an un­usu­ally be­nign sum­mer with fre­quent show­ers un­til re­cently, the out­look is not promis­ing. “Rise in max­i­mum tem­per­a­tures by 3-4°C likely over east In­dia dur­ing next 72 hours and by 2-3°C over north­west In­dia dur­ing next 48 hours,” the weather of­fice said in its fore­cast. Heat wave con­di­tions con­tinue to pre­vail over Ra­jasthan, Mad­hya Pradesh, UP, Vidarbha and Haryana.” The weather of­fice is watch­ing closely for any sign of mon­soon show­ers hit­ting the coun­try. “We are mon­i­tor­ing day to

The mon­soon is fore­cast to be be­low nor­mal this year, pos­ing a big chal­lenge for the newly elected govern­ment of Naren­dra Modi

day de­vel­op­ment and changes in wind pat­tern, cloudiness, hu­mid­ity and rain­fall and as of now we will stick to June 5 plus mi­nus four days,” he said.

Ac­cord­ing to IMD, if af­ter May 10, 60% of the avail­able 14 sta­tions across Ker­ala, Kar­nataka, Sri Lanka and Lak­shad­weep re­port rain­fall of 2.5 mm or more for two con­sec­u­tive days, the mon­soon is de­clared to have set in.

Even as the south­ern states re­ceived stag­gered rain, most parts of the coun­try have seen day tem­per­a­tures ris­ing. The max­i­mum tem­per­a­ture in the coun­try was recorded at 46.7°C in Churu in Ra­jasthan, fol­lowed by 46.6°C in Shivpur in Mad­hya Pradesh and 46.2°C in Kota in Ra­jasthan. The max­i­mum tem­per­a­ture in the cap­i­tal was 44°C on Thurs­day. The mon­soon is crit­i­cal for In­dia’s farm­ers who de­pend on them for ir­ri­ga­tion. Fore­casts have warned of be­low-nor­mal rain­fall in the June-Septem­ber rea­son, rais­ing con­cerns about growth and prices.

The wind-driven, cross-equa­to­rial flow has been weak to mod­er­ate, leading to the de­lay in the mon­soon, ac­cord­ing to GP Sharma, chief me­te­o­rol­o­gist at Skymet Weather Ser­vices.

This cross-equa­to­rial flow refers to mois­ture-laden winds that move from the south­ern hemi­sphere to the north­ern one in the di­rec­tion of In­dian Ocean and sub­se­quently the Ara­bian Sea. The winds car­ry­ing the mon­soon sweep across the In­dian land­mass from the south­west, hence Ker­ala is their first port of call.

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