Follow Us:
Monday, July 16, 2018

India monsoon blog: Rains wreak havoc in Gujarat, NE; rescue operations underway

Track all the news of 2017’s monsoon here

Updated: August 21, 2017 7:48:43 pm

Thank you for reading the India monsoon blog! The monsoon arrived two days ahead of schedule in 2017 and gradually covered India. While states like Kerala recorded rainfall deficiency, heavy rains wreaked havoc in others including Gujarat, Bihar and Assam. This blog was run through the season with daily news updates on the weather, fun trivia about the season and activities to enjoy the rains.

August 1: The monsoon this year has been overwhelming in many parts of the country this year, particularly in Gujarat, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh which are experiencing heavy rains and floods. The rains have caused massive damage to life and property, with lakhs of people displaced and

In Gujarat, one of the worst hit states, thousands of people have been rescued and shifted to safe locations by evacuation teams. The IAF, Army, BSF and NDRF have been deployed to conduct rescue and relief operations in the state. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, after personally taking stock of the situation, announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh from the PM relief fund to kin of those killed in floods, and Rs 50,000 to those injured. The worst affected regions are Dhanera, Deesa and Tharad towns.

In Assam, nearly a 100 people have been killed by severe floods since April. While the situation is now gradually improving, there are over a million people from nearly 30000 villages of the 23 districts affected,

In Meghalaya, Tripura and Arunachal Pradesh, extreme rainfall and flash floods have wreaked havoc as well. AP and Nagaland witnessed massive landslides.

Two districts of Odisha, Rayagada and Kalahandi, witnessed flash floods in July. Two people were reported killed.

In Jammu and Kashmir, heavy rains resulted in floods in many regions. The Jhelum and its tributaries Veishov, Rambiara and Lidder have risen quickly, crossing dangerous levels. Rescue operations were conducted in J&K too.

Five books from 2017 you can read this season

* Mr and Mrs Jinnah by Sheela Reddy

One of the most talked about books this year, this book explores the tempestuous marriage between Pakistan’s first prime minister Muhammad Ali Jinnah and his Parsi wife Ruttie Petit. The book delves into the less talked about and known private life of Jinnah portrays him in a light one might not have seen before.

* Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz

This is the perfect book for murder mystery enthusiasts this season. This fast passed murder mystery will have you turning the pages in great curiosity. Watch out, because it has clues about the murderer from the very first page.

* The ministry of utmost happiness by Arundhati Roy

Roy’s second fiction novel has been in the limelight for a while now. Her powerful writing and detailed description is perfect for the rains.

* All the beloved Ghosts by Allison Macleod

This collection of short stories depicts the lives of different people from different religions, ages and realities to understand what it is to be alive.

* The rules do not apply by Ariel Levy

Levy, a Journalist with The New Yorker, takes a look inward and scrutinizes how and why her life did not go as per her elaborate plans.

July 17: There are still parts of east Rajasthan and parts of Haryana yet to receive the monsoon. Meanwhile, heavy rains caused traffic snarls in the national capital, with the Safdarjung Observatory recording 20.6 mm of rainfall between 8.30 am and 5.30 pm today. IMD has predicted overcast skies and light rains tonight and tomorrow. Track the monsoon in the map below!

(Source: PTI Graphics)

Love herbal teas? Here’s your daily fix for the monsoon:

* Golden milk: This therapeutic drink will help build your immunity against rain-related diseases like dengue, malaria and fevers.

Preparation: Boil milk and water in a proportionate ration and add a pinch of turmeric, nutmeg, black pepper powder and 2-3 strands of saffron. Let it simmer till it reduces to half its quantity. Add jaggery to taste and sip on it hot or warm.

* Kashaya: This ayurvedic drink helps to clear the sinuses.

Preparation: Dry roast coriander, cumin and fennel seeds in 4:2:1 ratio along with one tablespoon black peppercorn seeds. Grind these dry spices to a fine powder and store in an airtight jar. To make your brew, boil a glass of water and add one teaspoon Kashaya powder and one tsp grated jaggery to it. Strain and drink it hot.

* Fennel and Carom potion: This will help you improve your digestive strength.

Preparation: Add one teaspoon each of fennel (saunf) and carom (ajwain) seeds to boiling water and let it simmer for some time. Remove from flame and add honey to it.

* Peppermint tea: The most refreshing drink, to give you a kick of energy!

Preparation: Boil two cups of water, let it sit for 3-4 minutes and heat two-three cups of water separately and add crushed mint leaves. Combine the two waters and drink.

* Rose and Honey tea: Hmm… Need we say anything?

Preparation: Boil water, put rose petals in it for 5-6 seconds. Turn off the gas, let it infuse till the colour of the water becomes dark. Strain, add honey and drink.

(Source: IANS)

Two boys take shelter in a traffic both located at Vijay Chowk during Heavy Rainfall in New Delhi on Wednesday. (Express Photo/Praveen Khanna)

July 13: The Northeast has been witnessing incessant rains in the last week. At least 14 people were killed in a massive landslide in Arunachal Pradesh, six people were killed in flash floods in Assam — the death toll in Assam has risen to 36 — and four died in a bridge collapse in Nagaland. Read more here.

Track the advancement of the monsoon below.

(Source: IMD)

Also read: Heavy rains leave Kaziranga National Park inundated, animal rescue operations on. Click here.

Men use plastic covers to shield themselves from rain in Kolkata. (PTI Photo)

July 10: The temperature in Delhi is on the rise again, with temperatures soaring to 38.5 degrees Celsius on Sunday. Today, Delhiites woke up to a warm morning, with a maximumn temperature of around 37 degrees and a minimum of 30 degrees — three notches above the season’s average. Humidity at 8.30 am was 55 per cent. With no rains in sight, the skies will remain cloudy through the day.

Workers pull a cart near India Gate in New Delhi on Sunday (PTI Photo)

Track the advancement of the monsoon in the first week of July below:

(Source: PTI Graphics)

Top monsoon destinations | According to a survey conducted by, the most popular monsoon destination across India is Goa! After analysing data on hotel searches made by users, the online accommodation booking revealed that four of Goa’s cities — Candolim, Calangute, Arpora and Baga — featured in the top 10 most search destinations. For international travel, the monsoon hot picks included Singapore, Bangkok, Phuket, Pattaya and Dubai. So, what are you waiting for?

(Source: IANS)

Two men share an umbrella during heavy rains at Golden Temple in Amritsar. (PTI Photo)

The music of the monsoons | It can be a soothing balm, an experience of joy and a reason for relief. To farmers, it signifies fertility and life. Folk songs welcoming the first showers are sung in rural India even today. Hundreds of songs have been written about the drama of the onset of rain. They are replete with the imagery of the mor (peacock) and the papiha (brainfever bird) singing their love songs. Read more here.

Migratory birds arrive to nest, breeds during the monsoon season at Islampur in Birbhum district of West Bengal. (PTI Photo)

July 7: The humid weather we’ve been facing in Delhi will cease for a couple of days, as the rains set in once again. In the last 24 hours, the Safdarjung Observatory has recorded 17.6 mm rainfall, the Aaya Nagar Observatory 15 mm, Ridge 9.4 mm and the Palam Observatory 7.4 mm, according to skymetweather.

Parts of Delhi NCR witnessed water logging due to the rains as well. See our Express photos below!

Water logging and Traffic Jam at the AIIMS flyover in New Delhi. (Express Photo/Tashi Tobgyal) Rain water logging at Hero honda chowk in Gurgaon on Monday. (Express Photo/Manoj Kumar)

July 4: The southwest monsoon has covered most of the country as of today, with parts of Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh yet to officially receive monsoon showers. Today, heavy rain is expected in coastal Karnataka and parts of Kerala, Gujarat, southern Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal and Telangana. The monsoon will be subdued in northern Madhya Pradesh, Rayalaseema and Tamil Nadu.

Moderate to heavy rains will continue in Delhi and in Mumbai today.

Check out this graph below to track the progress of the monsoon.

Six must-have accessories this monsoon:

* Raincoats: Raincourts are definitely making a come-back this season, with new patterns, colours and material to suit your style. From a balloon raincoat or rain poncho to a transparent one, a quick Google search can find you your perfect match!

* Shoes: Hate getting wet? Jelly flats, funky flip flops or bright and shiny gumboots can be your best friends this season.

* Bags: Try picking up a nylon or plastic tote bag to keep all your possessions safe and dry during the rains.

* Umbrellas: Yeah, we all have umbrellas, but do you have a stylist one? Get rid of those boring black ones and pick up a bright, colourful one, preferably with a beautiful design.

* Waterproof phone covers: An essential item today, phone covers can spruce up your style quotient and protect your phone from the rain.

* Scarves: Scarves are a fashion accessory that not only completes your outfit but also comes in handy during the rains. Lovely prints in a myriad colours and in different fabrics like cotton, mulmul and chiffon are easily accessible this season.

(Source: IANS)

Waterlogging near the Circuit House after heavy rains in Amritsar. (PTI Photo)

Advancement of the monsoon: As you can see, as of June 3, the monsoon has advanced to central Rajasthan. It will cover the desert state and Uttar Pradesh — two of the largest states in the country — by July 15.

(Source: IMD)

June 30: Rains lashed many parts of Delhi today, as the city gears up for the official onset of the monsoon this weekend. The IMD today said the monsoon will hit Delhi NCR in the next 72 hours. On Thursday, the city received 16.5 mm of rain, as recorded by the Safdarjung observatory.

“Skies will remain partly cloudy throughout the day and light rain may occur in some areas of the city. The maximum temperature is expected to hover around 32 degrees Celsius,” an IMD official added. Read more here.

People enjoy the cool weather after a spell of rains at Red Fort in New Delhi on Friday ahead of the arrival of Monsoon. (PTI Photo)

See the rainfall (in mm) received across the country this month in the graph below.

(Source: PTI)

June 29: There have been overcast skies, scattered showers and thundershowers in Delhi this week in anticipation of the monsoon that’s set to hit the national capital region in the next 36 hours — finally! The minimum temperature has dropped four notches below the season’s average at 28 degrees. The maximum is now about 35*, bringing great relief to us folks in the capital.

In Mumbai, heavy rainfall continues to lash the city, with the Santacruz observatory recording 51.1 mm rainfall, the Colaba observatory 63 mm and the eastern suburbs receiving the maximum rainfall of 31 mm. The island city received 27 mm rainfall and the western suburbs received 29 mm, reported PTI.

Colourful umbrellas spotted in Mumbai. (Express Photo/Santosh Parab)

Track the advancement of the monsoon in the graph below:

(Source: PTI)

June 27: Mumbai witnessed heavy rains on Tuesday, resulting in water-logging in several areas, delayed trains and residents flocking to Marine Drive to witness the high tide. The southwest monsoon has intensified in Maharashtra, and rains have been beating down on the city for over 24 hours. Officials issued an alert on this afternoon as waves reached 4.81 metres high. A lot of people are taking to social media to share pictures and videos of the weather.

A police officer at Marine Drive. (Express photo/Ganesh Shirsekar)

Track the advancement of the monsoon below.

(Source: IMD)

Read how Mumbaikars on Twitter reacted to the rains here.

Water logging on Thane’s Ram Maruti Road. (Express Photo/Deepak Joshi)

Monsoon news for the millennial | Up your social media game with Twitter’s new umbrella emoji! Now, a bright blue umbrella will appear when you tweet using hashtags #Monsoon2017, #Monsoon, #IndiaRains, #Baarish, #MumbaiRains, #DelhiRains, #BengaluruRains #HyderabadRains, #ChennaiRains and #AhmedabadRains. Read more here.

Don’t forget, if you #MonsoonExpress on your photographs on social media, we’ll add the best ones to this blog!

Monsoon, Mumbai rains, Southwest monsoon, Mumbai weather forecast High tide at Gateway of India, Colaba Mumbai as rains continue to lash on Maharashtra coast. Express photo by Nirmal Harindran.

June 26: The southwest monsoon is fast approaching central India, with favourable conditions for it to hit Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, remaining parts of Bihar and East Uttar Pradesh. By the end of this week, the monsoon is expected to rapidly advance to the North of the country – Delhi that means you! Till then, thunderstorms are expected at isolated parts of the city. In other news, although late by a week, the monsoon finally covered Maharashtra last weekend, bringing with it heavy rains which are likely to continue this week. So, don’t forget your umbrella!
You can see the advancement of the monsoon in the graph below.

Monsoon, Southwest monsoon, Mumbai rains, Delhi temperature (Source: IMD)

Essential monsoon tips | Need help jazzing up your wardrobe this season? Get tips here.

Monsoon, Mumbai rains, Mumbai weather forecast, Southwest monsoon A child aims his toy gun at the sky full of rain clouds. Express Photo by Aishwarya Maheshwari.

Funky cocktail recipes to go with the rains

* Hot Toddy

Heat some water in a pan and add lemon peel, ginger, two cloves, one cinnamon stick and half a star anise and bring it to a simmer. Pour some good old monk into a glass and add the warm water to it. You can also add lemon juice and honey according to taste.

* Rasam Mary

This one comes straight from your mother’s kitchen, of course, with a twist. Take some luke warm tamarind and tomato rasam and add about 60 ml vodka to it. The drink is best enjoyed with masala papad.

* Coconut rum punch

This easy rum-based recipe requires mango juice, pineapple juice, white rum and coconut milk. You can add up the ingredients in any quantity you like and it’ll still taste like a dream. Serve chilled.

* Red wine cooler

You’ll need red wine, lime soda and ginger ale for this one. Pour red wine into a glass and then add lime soda and ginger ale in equal parts. Serve with dinner or with some yummy onion rings.


Mumbaikars carry on with life using all possible rain gear. Express Photo by Amit Chakravarty.

Essential monsoon reads | The passionate outburst of rain showers that take place in the middle of the year has been extensively chronicled by foreign writers in India, accompanying expressions ranging from horror, awe and alarm to amusement and longing. Read more here.

Rain clouds geather over small village in Lonavala . Express photo by Kevin DSouza.

June 19: Rains lashed most of north India this weekend, keeping the heat in check. According to the weatherman, pre-monsoon showers are expected to continue for the next few days in the northeastern states, sub-Himalyan West Bengal, J&K and Punjab. Thundersquall and hairstorms are expected in Uttarakhand, UP, Haryana, Himachal, Rajasthan and in the national capital. In the next couple of days, the southwest monsoon is expected to advance to parts of Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Jharkhand, Bihar, east Madhya Pradesh and UP.

You can see the advancement of the monsoon in this picture:

Southwest Monsoon, IMD, Rains, Delhi Temperature (Source: IMD)

Monsoon myths busted!

We bring you three sayings that are often repeated during the monsoons but are not actually true.

* Sitting in an air conditioned room, or under the fan after getting drenched in the rain will give you a cold

Don’t believe this one bit! The human body is most susceptible to cold when it is left vulnerable to rapid changes in temperature. This is why you tend to get a cold on the onset of winters or monsoon. Air conditioned rooms also circulate the same air over and over again and if someone with a cold is in your vicinity, you are vulnerable of catching it. This has nothing to do with sitting drenched.

* Don’t eat curd during the monsoons

A lot of people believe this as cold in nature. However, there is no real basis to this thoery. On the contrary, the high calcium and vitamin contents in curd help you increase immunity and improve your digestive system.

* It’s unsafe to eat certain vegetables and fish during the monsoon

Many people think the humid air makes vegetables unsafe to eat because they may get contaminated. However, veggies are even more important during the monsoons because of the nutrients they provide. A thorough wash before cooking is more than enough. As for fish, the myth came about because fishermen usually don’t go fishing during the monsoons and the fish we get is usually frozen. If you do find fresh fish to eat, it is more than safe.

Southwest monsoon, monsoon in India, rains, Delhi temperature Rain cloud gather on backdrop of Shivaji Statue in Mumbai. (Express Photo/Pradip Das)

Essential monsoon tips | Need help in keeping your skin fresh and your hair healthy this season? Click here.

June 17: More rains and thundershowers, Delhi breathes a sigh of relief

Yesterday’s thundershowers in the morning did little to make the weather better but it got pleasant in the morning as Delhiites woke up to yet another sprightly morning with the temperature at 26 degrees and the sound of heavy rain. The rain is expected to continue through the week with lower temperatures and more winds.

Monsoon, India monsoon, Southwest Monsoon, Delhi rains Rains bring the city temperature down. (Express Photo/Vishal Srivastav)

June 16: Delhi wakes up to heavy rains, thundershowers

Early morning thundershowers brought respite from the intense heat to several parts of the national capital today. Delhiites woke up pleasant weather this morning, with temperatures as low as 23 degrees. In few areas, stormy winds accompanied the harsh rains. Delhi has been reeling under heat-wave like conditions, with temperatures soaring as high as 45 degrees this month. The IMD had earlier predicted pre-monsoon showers only early next week, so the change is weather is quite welcoming!

Monsoon, southwest monsoon, Delhi rains, Delhi temperature A man rushes home as it begins to drizzle near the Kerala coast (Express photo/Nirmal Harindran)

5 places to visit this monsoon

If you live in a congested city with clogged roads and non-stop traffic and you can’t wait to get away from all the madness, here’s a list of destinations you can head to this monsoon.

* Jim Corbett, Uttarakhand

Surprised? Well we’ll tell you why we chose this place. Despite the national park being closed during the monsoon months, the adjacent areas of Dhikala, Bijrani, Durga Devi and Jhirna are lush with green cover and are open through the year. More so, one of the biggest attractions to visit Corbett during the monsoon is rafting in the Kosi river, a must go for all adventure lovers.

* Munnar, Kerala

Munnar, with its rippling tea gardens and low hanging clouds is a sight to behold during the monsoons. Head to this beautiful town in the Western Ghats in Kerala for a peaceful and beautiful getaway.

* Spiti Valley, Himachal Pradesh

Spiti is best visited in the monsoon season. A quiet valley filled with small picturesque towns, the place is sparsely populated and is abound with natures best. The place has several monasteries to visit along with some great treks.

* Valley of Flowers, Uttarakhand

The Valley of Flowers, a world heritage site, is located where the Zanskar and Western and Eastern Himalayan ranges meet. The best time to visit is during the monsoon — any time after July. This is when the sprawling meadows burst into full bloom.

* Bikaner, Rajasthan

And last, if you’re one of those who want to get away from the rains, this is the place to go. Bikaner is known for its beautiful palaces and temples. If that’s not your thing, you can hit the market which sells everything from authentic Rajasthan clothes, jewellery and other ornaments.

Monsoon, Mumbai rain, Delhi temperature, Southwest monsoon updates Water logging during monsoon in Mumbai. (Express Photo/Manoj Patil, Archive)

June 15: The humble umbrella can do very little when you’re battling strong waves and windy weather in monsoon-hit Kerala. This reporter from News 18, reporting on the weather, got a quick shower while on the job. We won’t say more, watch the video below. Also, if you’ve missed out, scroll down for a list of pakoras you can make while watching the rains and sipping on that chai.

June 14: When will the monsoon hit New Delhi?

While the scheduled date for the monsoon to hit the national capital is June 29, it’s likely that the rains will be delayed. According to Met officials, the advancement of the monsoon to Delhi can only be predicted once it covers the central and western states.

“It is too early to predict. We can only predict that once it covers the west and central states. But the monsoon will need a push to keep its date with Delhi and other states in north-west India,” an official was quoted as saying by Hindustan Times.

On the other hand, rainfall is likely over the northern states next week (June 19th) despite the heat wave-like conditions we’re witnessing right now.

Monsoon, Shimla rains, Mumbai rains, monsoon updates Kids enjoying rain at Historic ridge in Northern hill town Shimla on Wednesday. Express Photo by Pradeep Kumar

June 13: It’s raining cats and dogs in Maharashtra since the monsoon hit yesterday. Northern Karnataka, Goa, the Konkan region and Telangana have also been witnessing heavy rains. Monsoon showers are subdued further south, especially in Kerala, TN and coastal Andhra. The northeast is set to receive extremely heavy rains in the next 24 hours.

Meanwhile, here in Delhi, heat wave-like conditions are likely to continue despite the brief relief experienced last week. Temperatures may continue to hover around 43 degrees through this week, but a spell of rain may hit early next week. Hang in there folks!

Here’s a picture of the advancement of the monsoon as of Tuesday.

Monsoon, southwest monsoon, India rains, Mumbai rains (Source: PTI)

Flash floods claimed the lives of 10 people in the border village of Tlabung in Lungeli district of southern Mizoram on Tuesday, after the monsoon hit following a depression in the Bay of Bengal. Several are feared missing, and a number of houses have been washed away.

“At least 350 houses have been damaged in Tlabung by the flash floods and landslides that occurred since Monday evening, with local authorities confirming the death of ten persons so far. The number of casualties is likely to increase,” an official told The Indian Express from Aizawl. Click here for more.

Here are some photos from Mumbai from out photojournalists. Keep #MonsoonExpress on your photos are we’ll feature them on our blog!

Monsoon, Southwest monsoon, Mumbai rains, Mumbai monsoon The much awaited Monsoon has finally made an appearance over Mumbai and adjoining areas. (Express Photo By Pradip Das) Monsoon, Southwest monsoon, Mumbai rains, Mumbai monsoon The rains bring much relief to the people of Maharashtra (Express Photo By Pradip Das) Monsoon, Southwest monsoon, Mumbai rains, Versova beach High Tide at Versova beach. (Express Photo by Amit Chakravarty)

June 12: Coastal Karnataka, the Konkan region and Goa are witnessing heavy rainfall as the monsoon progresses along the West coast. Scattered rains have been reported in interior Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Rayalaseema. Meanwhile, North India is likely to witness moderate to heavy rains in the next 24 hours, reported
It’s a rainy affair for Mumbai, as monsoon showers intensify. The Southwest monsoon has finally hit Mumbai, and some areas are already water-logged! Here’s a photograph of JVLR taken by one of our photojournalists.

Monsoon, Southwest monsoon, Mumbai rains, Mumbai temperature Water logging on JVLR, Mumbai. (Express Photo/Amit Chakravarty)

On the East coast, a depression in the northwest region of the Bay of Bengal intensified into a deep depression on Monday and crossed the coast of Bangladesh, the IMD informed.

Trending | Mumbai
Mumbai is known to get water-clogged during the monsoon. But have you ever heard of so much water on the roads that you can fish? Check out this hilarious post that’s viral on Facebook, or a food vendor catching a big fat fish in Kandivali. Click here.

People are taking to social media with the #MumbaiRains as the first spell of the monsoon hits. Click here to see what everyone’s saying.

Five quick recipes for pakodas to satisfy your craving

All you monsoon lovers, the rains are finally here! And what better than to sit by the window and eat piping hot pakodas with some adrak chai? So put on your chef caps and enjoy these easy but delicious recipes you might not have thought to try but should definitely bite into this season:

* Babycorn Pakodas

Babycorn is the ultimate food for the rains — yummy and nutritious. These pakodas will send your senses spinning as you bite into the crispy batter coated yumminess of it. To make these pakodas taste even better, make the batter extra spicy.

* Okra (Bhindi) Pakodas

While the idea may sound new, you’ll definitely take to this recipe. Bhindi pakodas are a delicious snack. Just remember to keep the batter thin and add a lot of Amchur (Raw mango powder) for that extra kick.

* Chicken Pakodas

This is every non-vegetarian’s delight. Best served piping hot, these pakodas are easier to make than you think. Just remember to cut your chicken into bite size chunks with an extra dabbing of batter to make them even yummier.

* Green Chilli Pakodas

Remember to get the biggest chillies you find for this one and remember to take out the chillies before you fry the pakodas. Chilli pakodas can be eaten in many ways; the best of course is with potatoes stuffed in them. Add a dash of chat masala on the golden fried pakodas for them to taste even better.

* Brinjal (Baigan) Pakodas

Baigan is the ultimate vegetable to fry. While many might find it unpalatable when cooked in the traditional form, the batter fried version of it does nothing but make your mouth water. For it to taste even better, fry the pakodas in mustard oil.

Monsoon, Kolkata monsoon, Southwest monsoon, rains A man cycling in Kolkata. The showers proved to be a respite from the high day temperatures. (Express photo by Partha Paul)

Remember, you can send us your photos with #MonsoonExpress on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram, and we’ll feature them on our blog!

Advancement of the monsoon as of June 12

Monsoon, Mumbai rains, Southwest monsoon, Rains in Mumbai (Source: IMD)

As you can see in the map above, the monsoon has finally made landfall in Mumbai.

Word of the day | Petrichor: You know it’s going to rain when you smell that indescribable smell of mud mixed with rain. The smell that makes you want to curl up with a book and a hot bowl of noodles. The smell that evokes all the best things about the monsoon: romance, jazz music, the sudden chill after a sweltering summer, the croaking of stray frogs, thicker blankets and raindrops as a soundtrack to everyday life. But did you know that the smell of mud and rain is just a series of simple and clinical chemical reactions?

The first chemical reaction is the splitting of oxygen gas into separate atoms, some of which reform into ozone (Did you know: the word ozone comes from a Greek word, meaning ‘to smell’?). The next is caused by molecules of decomposed organic matter such as leaves, twigs, and branches which are in the soil, and which waft into your nose when the first raindrops hit the earth. The final chemical reaction happens when bacteria release a compound geosmin. All these molecules, atoms and reactions make you smell that smell, called Petrichor, the smell of earth and rain, the smell that conjures up all the feelings, nostalgia and memories associated with the first rains. So the next time it rains, take a deep breath: and think of the many atoms, molecules and reactions that have created this scent.

June 7: With the monsoon expected to hit Karnataka any day now, coastal areas of the state are likely to receive showers for the next few days, reported As the monsoon moves towards the upper part of the southern peninsula, the rain will probably reduce in Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Folks in Goa and Mumbai can expect pre-monsoon showers over the next few days as well. Light showers will bring relief to other states across the country, including Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Bihar etc… and not to forget, Delhi! Don’t worry guys, we’re almost done with the summer.

A satellite image of the monsoon clouds across India:

Monsoon, Southwest Monsoon, India rains, Temperature Latest satellite images showing cloud movement of the Indian peninsula (Source:

You can also track live data on lightening and thunderstorms in your city on Skymet Weather’s page here.

June 6: Bringing us positive news today, IMD Director General K G Ramesh predicted the monsoon rainfall to reach 98 per cent of the long period average and June-September Central India rainfall to reach 100 per cent of the average! He added that the monsoon will hit Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal by June 13 or 14.

Ramesh also cautioned against El Niño conditions which may set in in the second half of the monsoon.

The map below shows the advancement of the monsoon as of June 6. As you can see, the monsoon has now extended to the north of Kerala and it about to breach the Karnataka border. By June 5, we hope the monsoon would have entered Karnataka and parts of Tamil Nadu as well. The monsoon can be seen progressing through the northeast states as well. Lakshadweep and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands are experiencing rainfall too.

Southwest monsoon, India monsoon, India rains, Delhi temperature (Source: IMD)

10 movies to watch on a rainy day
The weekend is fast approaching, and we’ve compiled a list of movies in case you’re forced to stay indoors because of the rains. These films, personally selected for you by one of our in-house movie enthusiasts, are sorted genre-wise to ensure there’s something for everyone. So cuddle up and hit play!

* Drama – Rashomon (1950)
This Japanese classic directed by Akira Kurosawa is about a notorious bandit held for rape and murder. The story is told from three different perspectives, by a priest, a woodcutter and a peasant, who meet while taking refuge from the rain. Whose version of events is the truth?

* Bollywood (Drama) – Raincoat (2004)
Secrets are unravelled when an unemployed man, in search of money, goes to visit his ex-fiancé, now married to a wealthy man.

* Crime – Sin City (2005)
Four winding narratives, one of a man hunting for the person who killed the woman he was in love with, another who’s fed up with the corrupt cops, the third of a policeman trying to save a young girl and last of a hitman who wants to earn a few bucks.

* Horror – Suspiria (1977)
A young ballerina arrives in Germany late on a tempestuous night to attend ballet school, and soon learns about its dark secrets.

* Animated – Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (2009)

This one is a food lover’s wildest fantasy as a scientist’s crazy invention ends up in the clouds, making it rain hotdogs from the sky! Make sure you turn your umbrellas upside down to catch all the meatballs in this one.

* Romance – 500 Days of Summer (2009)
500 days of a young man’s relationship, explained in a non-linear narrative.

* Bollywood (Thriller) – Kaun (1999)
Ram Gopal Varma’s film, Kaun, is set on a stormy evening when a serial killed at large comes knocking at a woman’s door.

* Fantasy – About Time (2013)
The story of a young man who discovers he has the power to travel in time. With the advice of his father, Tim Lake doesn’t go after money or fame but instead uses his super powers to pursue the girl he’s interested in, Mary.

* Science Fiction – Blade Runner (1982)
Set in a dystopian future, Harrison Ford plays the role of blade runner, who must try to eliminate four replicants who stole a ship in space and escaped to Earth to find their creator.

* Documentary – An Inconvenient Truth (2004)
Former US presidential candidate Al Gore talks about global warming and calls for immediate action to counter its destructive effects on planet earth. But are we ready to listen to the inconvenient truth?

This is a personal list, but if you have any suggestions let us know by using commenting in the section below.

Watch comedian Radhika Vaz tell us why the rain and romance are horrible together!

For all of you living in Goa, the annual monsoon alert has been sounded. All beach activities will now cease, and the red flags will be brought out to warn you against venturing out to sea. Although the monsoon hasn’t officially landed in the state, the sea is choppy and pre-monsoon showers have already set in. Fishermen will be grounded for the next few months as well, so stock up on all the fresh seafood you can find!

Track the advancement of the southwest monsoon, as of June 1, in the map below:

Southwest Monsoon, India monsoon, monsoon, Kerala rains (Source: IMD)

You can track live data on lightening and thunderstorms in your city on Skymet Weather’s page here.

Our Mumbai photojournalist Nirmal Harindran, who is holidaying back home in Kerala, sent us these pictures of the monsoon which are making us really jealous!

Monsoon, Monsoon news, Kerala monsoon, Mumbai rains The monsoon hit the southern coast of Kerala on Tuesday. Express photo by Nirmal Harindran. Monsoon, Monsoon news, Kerala monsoon, Mumbai rains The monsoon this year has arrived two days ahead of schedule. Express photo by Nirmal Harindran. Monsoon, Monsoon news, Kerala monsoon, Mumbai rains Kerala has been witnessed pre-monsoon showers for the last week. Express photo by Nirmal Harindran.

If you want to see a dramatic animation of the cloud movement in the last 24 hours, click here.

Here are some shots of dark clouds setting over the Cochin coast, taken by our photojournalist, Nirmal Harindran. Remember, if you send us your pictures with the #MonsoonExpress, we can feature them right here, on our blog!

Monsoon, Monsoon news, Kerala monsoon, Mumbai rains The sky plays games as the monsoon nears the Kerala coast. Express photo by Nirmal Harindran. Monsoon, Monsoon news, Kerala monsoon, Mumbai rains Traditional cast-net fisherman apreading his nets in Fort Cochin beach. Express photo by Nirmal Harindran.

What we will also be doing is featuring your monsoon photos on this blog and on our social media platforms. So tweet, Facebook and Instagram us using #MonsoonExpress and our National Photo Editor Neeraj Priyadarshi will curate the best! Get your cameras out and also please take care not to get it wet in the rains.

Meanwhile, for those living in Odisha and the Northeast, brace yourselves for heavy rains and thundershowers as cyclone Mora crossed the Bangladeshi coast earlier today. The tropical storm over the northeast Bay of Bengal has wrecked destruction at in India’s neighbouring country, with over 300,000 people evacuated from coastal areas. They have been moved to cyclone shelters.

Cyclone Mora is actually one of the reasons for the early onset of the southwest monsoon in India. After landing in Kerala, the monsoon will cover coastal Karnataka and make its way along the western coast to parts of Goa and the Konkan region in the first half of June, before hitting Mumbai and traveling further north to New Delhi. IMD officials from Pune predict the monsoon will rapidly progress after June 4.

The map below shows the position of the monsoon clouds as of May 30 — you can see that in green.

Advancement of southwest monsoon 2017. (Source: IMD)

Due to the quick progression of the monsoon this year, the IMD has predicted it will make landfall in Kerala on Tuesday, May 30, two days ahead of the normal date for the onset of the monsoon on June 1. In a press release, the agency said, “The monsoon onset over Kerala in this year is likely to be close to the normal date. The southwest monsoon is likely to set over Kerala on 30th May with a model error of ± 4 days.”

IMD’s forecasts for the monsoon since 2012. (Source: IMD)

The southwest monsoon, which first hits the Andaman and Nicobar Islands every year around May 20, advanced over the region well in advance on May 14 due to the formation of a cyclonic circulation over the Andaman Sea. The monsoon has currently advanced to some parts of the south Arabian sea and parts of the Bay of Bengal, as depicted in the map above.

Monsoon, Monsoon news, Kerala monsoon, Mumbai rains More photos from Fort Cochin beach. Express photo by Nirmal Harindran. Monsoon, Monsoon news, Kerala monsoon, Mumbai rains The IMD has advised fishermen along the Andaman coast against venturing out to sea . Express photo by Nirmal Harindran. An overcast sky in Cochin with scattered pre-monsoon showers continues. Express photo by Nirmal Harindran Monsoon, Monsoon news, Kerala monsoon, Mumbai rains A man cycling near backwaters in Cochin. Express photo by Nirmal Harindran, 29th May 2017, Cochin.

Don’t forget, tweet/Instagram/Facebook your pictures to us using #MonsoonExpress! Have a suggestion on what we could add to this blog? Share it with us in the comment section below.

(With inputs from agencies)