Hindustan Times ST (Jaipur)
Monsoon arrives in India albeit late: IMD
Southwest monsoon makes onset over Kerala two days late, to begin covering rest of the country
The monsoon arrived in Kerala on Thursday two days behind schedule and advanced into parts of the south Arabian Sea, Lakshadweep, Tamil Nadu, southwest Bay of Bengal, and remaining areas of the Comorin-maldives area, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said in a statement.
The arrival of monsoon, crucial to the country’s farm-dependent economy, is announced based on factors such as wind speed, consistency of rainfall, intensity, and cloud cover. It arrives in Kerala first before covering the rest of India by July.
IMD said over 60% of Kerala’s 14 key rainfall monitoring stations reported 2.5 mm or more rainfall over the last two days. It said the spatial rain distribution in Kerala remained fairly widespread during the same time.
IMD said the westerly winds have strengthened in the lower levels with speeds up to 20 knots. It added satellite imagery and coastal Doppler Weather Radars in the region suggested persistent convection (cloudiness). IMD said all these parameters were to be fulfilled for the monsoon onset declaration in Kerala.
India receives about 70% of its annual rain during the fourmonth monsoon that is crucial for rice, soybean, and cotton cultivation. Good rainfall has been a prime reason for the farm sector’s resilience for two years, and its ability last year to buck the
Covid-19 pandemic. As much as 60% of the sown area does not have access to irrigation in India, where over 150 milli on farmers and nearly half of the population are dependent on a farm-based income. The monsoon also replenishes 89 nationally important reservoirs critical for drinking and power generation.
IMD said the monsoon is likely to advance into the remaining areas of the south Arabian Sea, Kerala, Lakshadweep,
and parts of Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, central Arabian Sea coastal and south interior Karnataka, Rayalaseema, and south and the central Bay of Bengal during the next two days.
In its second long-range forecast on Tuesday, IMD said monsoon rainfall was likely to be normal at 101% of the long-period average (LPA) after two years of above-average rainfall. LPA is the average rainfall