After a halt in progress over the past 72 hours, the monsoon is expected to gather pace in the coming days, with showers predicted in Delhi and parts of north-western India from next Sunday.
The entire eastern India will be covered in the next three-four days, after which the monsoon will advance to central and north-western India, weather office sources say. Pre-monsoon showers are likely to hit north-western India in the interim.
Official forecasts of deficient rainfall released earlier raised fears of a drought worse than that seen in 2009, casting a shadow over farm output and economic growth.
The monsoon is seen as the lifeblood of Asia’s third-largest economy and better-than-forecast rains could lift consumer confidence and market sentiment.
“We have had good rains for sowing in June, which can offset periods of intermittent stress, if any, in July,” says India Meteorological Department director general Dr LS Rathore.
So far, the country has recorded 10% more than normal rains and kharif sowing has been satisfactory.
“The distribution of rainfall in the peninsular, eastern and central parts of the country has been conducive for sowing in June,” says Dr N Chattopadhya, deputy director general, agricultural meteorology division, Pune.
The heavy rainfall in western Karnataka and coastal Konkan over the past 24 hours is likely to continue for 48 hours but the intensity may abate.
Conditions are favourable for the monsoon to advance into the remaining parts of Odisha and West Bengal, Jharkhand, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat and the Arabian sea during the next three days.
However, striking a note of caution, Dr M Rajeevan, director of Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune, says there is no historical correlation between the rains in June and the overall performance of the monsoon.