AFTER its timely onset around May 31, the southwest monsoon, this year, is expected to make rapid progress along the west coast of the country. The monsoon will cover Kerala and coastal Karnataka to reach Goa and parts of Konkan, about a week ahead of the earlier estimated date of June 15. Officials at the India Meteorological Department (IMD), Pune, said the weather models indicate that the monsoon will progress rapidly after June 4.
This is also a time when the prevailing anticyclone, currently lying over the Arabian Sea, is likely to dissipate and make way for the monsoon to move towards the north. “We are closely monitoring this anticyclone. Once it weakens, monsoon winds will not have any hurdle in advancing further,” A K Srivastava, head of the climate monitoring and analysis group, told The Indian Express. In 2015, the monsoon had made a sluggish march into Karnataka and Maharashtra, despite its onset over Kerala being largely on time.
This year, weather experts have said that the presence of Madden Jullian Oscillation (MJO) in the Indian Ocean is likely to favour the monsoon positively. “The presence of MJO in its current position will not only help the onset of monsoon, but also aid its advance to other parts of the country,” said D S Pai, head of the IMD’s long-range forecast.
MJO, a periodical oscillation with a cycle of 30-60 days, has a profound influence on the Indian monsoon. During its cycle, it travels from west to east along the Pacific and Indian oceans. Earlier records show that while passing along the Indian Ocean, particularly as the monsoon sets in, it has a positive effect on the southwest monsoon.
Currently, the monsoon is in the Bay of Bengal and it is expected to advance further in the next 24-48 hours. During its onset, expected some time in the middle of next week, Kerala and northeast India will experience heavy downpour, said experts.