The monsoon finally arrived in the north on Thursday, advancing into Jammu and Kashmir, parts of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, while it will formally reach Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh by the weekend. Pre-monsoon showers had hit Shimla on Wednesday afternoon, while Chandigarh too witnessed some rain on Thursday morning.
The meteorological centre in Chandigarh and officials at the Doppler weather radar in Patiala confirmed that the rainy season has officially arrived. "On the morning of Thursday, moisture-laden winds and clouds entered the region from central India. In an unusual activity, the monsoon has entered the hilly states passing by the eastern side of Punjab, coming in from Bihar and the lower Himalayas," reported JR Prasad, the chief scientist in Patiala who monitors the only Doppler radar in the region.
Surinder Paul, director of the regional meteorological centre in Chandigarh, added, "Conditions are now favorable for the monsoon to advance into Haryana, Punjab and Chandigarh in two or three days. In the next couple of days, there will be rainfall in these areas as the monsoon has already hit the upper north."
This means that temperature in the region would come down, and the heat wave would perish. "With the rains, water situation in the catchment areas of the Sutlej and Beas will also improve," added Paul.
Prasad informed that the northern limit of monsoon is passing through the latitude 20 degree north-longitude 60 degree east, and latitude 20 degree north-longitude 65 degree east. This covers the region encompassing Jamnagar, Ahmedabad, Kota, Dholpur, Bareilly, Dehradun, Shimla and Jammu.
"The Doppler radar is clearly showing that the remaining parts of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand will also see rainfall in a day," Prasad added.
CAN RESTART SOWING PADDY
The Met department says that with rains here, farmers can now restart sowing paddy, the water-intensive crop that is expected to cover over 27 lakh hectares in Punjab alone. Officials said the electricity department would also get relief as its hydel power projects would get a boost. The entire northern region was reeling this summer with the highest temperature of most cities hovering around 45 degrees Celsius.