The Met Department on Wednesday declared the south-west monsoon onset over Kerala, a day later than what was announced in the earlier forecast. However with a plus or minus four days error, the Met Department have said that has come in well within the forecast period.
“We had maintained that the south west monsoon would touch the Kerala coast before June 9 and after observing the strengthning of winds and rainfall activity over Kerala, Lakshadweep and coastal Tamil Nadu we declared the onset over Kerala after checking for all the parameters,”said IMD, Pune Director (weather forecast) Sunita Devi after issuing the monsoon onset in the country.
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She said in the present condition, the south-west monsoon seems to be in a normal pace and even as there was a slight delay of one week, it should cover the country well within the period announced as of July 15.
The conditions observed by the Met Department included monitoring the 14 stations of Kerala reporting widespread rainfall for the last 48 hours with more than 60 per cent of the station reporting rainfall on June 8. The other parameters included the intensity of the westerly and west southwesterly winds over the South Ariabian sea, and the outgoing longwave radiation value which basically shows the cloudiness over the region.
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“These conditions were fulfilled on Wednesday in our monitoring. We were monitoring the same from May 10 this year. Earlier when there was an enhanced rainfall activity over Kerala during May 31-June 3, the westerly winds had not reached the required depth. It is not just the rainfall but the winds_both in speed as well as depth that determine the setting of southwest monsoon over Kerala as the process to a certain extent ensures the further advancement over the peninsular India subsequently,”said Sunita Devi.
The onset was delayed by a week and the statistical model used by the department had declared that the monsoon onset is likely to set over Kerala on June 7, with a model error of plus or minus four days. The onset of the southwest monsoon over Kerala represents the start of the rainy season for the country. The normal date is June 1 and the model to predict the onset using six predictors_minimum temperatures over north-west India, pre-monsoon rainfall peak over south peninsula, outgoing long wave radiation over South China sea, lower tropospheric zonal wind over southeast Indian ocean, upper tropospheric zonal wind over east equatorial Indian ocean and outgoing long wave radiation over the south west Pacific region. The model has been issuing forecast for the onset by this indigenously developed model which gives the date with a plus or minus 4 days.
The monsoon, which marks the beginning of the rainy season in the country, is crucial for India’s farmers, especially with several states grappling with drought-related conditions.