Low-pressure system may influence monsoon advance towards Kerala: IMD

Skymet says it could arrive around June 9

Kerala, Kerala monsoon, Kerala rain,Kerala floods

The southwest monsoon normally sets in over Kerala on June 1, give or take about seven days. In mid-May, the IMD said the monsoon might arrive in Kerala by June 4

Sanjeeb MukherjeeAgencies New Delhi

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As the country awaits the onset of the southwest monsoon over Kerala, the India Meteorological Department (IMD), in a weather update on Monday, said a cyclonic circulation, set to develop into a low-pressure area over the southeast Arabian Sea and intensify in the next two days, could critically influence the advance of the monsoon towards the Kerala coast.

The weather department, however, did not give a tentative date for the arrival of the monsoon in Kerala.

Meanwhile, meteorologists from private weather-forecasting agency Skymet said they were expecting the monsoon to come before their predicted date of June 7, but now they have lowered their sights and said it would be around June 9.

“But it (the onset) will be within the error margin as we had predicted the forecast to be on June 7 with an error margin of plus and minus three days,” said Mahesh Palawat, vice-president, meteorology and climate change, Skymet.

A delayed southwest monsoon could put off the sowing of critical kharif crops, particularly paddy.

According to forecasts, June rain over most parts of India in the four-month southwest monsoon season is expected to be “below normal”.

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“It is crucial to acknowledge that the impact of El Nino is not homogeneous across all regions of India. The effects may vary, with certain areas being more susceptible than others. Additionally, local factors such as rainfall distribution, irrigation infrastructure in which ‘per drop more crop’ like schemes can boost food production, and agricultural practices can contribute to the overall outcome,” Navneet Ravikar, chairman and managing director of agritech firm, Leads Connect Services, told Business Standard.

The IMD, in its cyclone prediction, said westerly winds over the south Arabian Sea continued to prevail up to 2.1 km above mean sea level.

However, because of a cyclonic circulation over the southeast Arabian Sea, the cloud mass is more organised and concentrated over the same area and there has been some reduction in clouds off the Kerala coast in the past 24 hours.

“Also, under the influence of this cyclonic circulation, a low-pressure area is very likely to form over the same region during the next 24 hours. It is likely to move nearly northwards and intensify into a depression over the southeast and adjoining east central Arabian Sea during the subsequent 48 hours,” the Met said.

The southwest monsoon normally sets in over Kerala on June 1, give or take about seven days. In mid-May, the IMD said the monsoon might arrive in Kerala by June 4.

Last year, the rains came on May 29.

First Published: Jun 05 2023 | 8:41 PM IST

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