The Southwest Monsoon covered the entire country on Friday, four days after its normal date of July 15, according to a statement from the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD).
Over the past week, rainfall has been concentrated near the Himalayan foothills, lashing the eastern and northeastern portions of the country. On the other hand, the central and southern regions have experienced very little rainfall so far. As a result, the overall rainfall for the season in the country so far has remained 18 per cent below normal, as on July 19. The presence of Cyclone Vayu impeded the movement of the monsoon this year causing a delay of two to three weeks before it hit Central India, according to the IMD. In turn, the window for kharif crop sowing in states like Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh drastically shortened.
“Due to this, the June rainfall ended remaining a 33 per cent deficit. But, the rainfall improved in July. Till July 19, the month’s rainfall stands 3 per cent short of normal,” the statement said.
According to officials at IMD, there may be a revival in the monsoon after July 25. Kerala and other places along the west coast have been placed on ‘red alert’ for the next three to four days, they said.
“During the last few days, the monsoon has shifted towards and has remained active along the foothills of the Himalayas. But, with a low pressure system likely to form in the Bay of Bengal and other atmospheric conditions building up, monsoon revival is expected around July 25,” DS Pai, Head of Climate Research and Services at IMD, Pune, told The Indian Express.
A conducive situation for a revival is also being delayed because the El Nino has not completely waned yet, officials noted.
El Nino is an abnormal warming along the equator at the Pacific Ocean and is known to suppress the Indian summer monsoon.
Kerala on red alert; Fishermen ‘missing’
With the Southwest monsoon gathering strength in Kerala since Thursday, the Met department on Friday sounded a red alert in several districts for the next four days. Seven fishermen in South Kerala, who ventured into the sea on Wednesday, are reportedly missing. (ENS)