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Delhi to receive monsoon rains around June 29, but suffer intense heat till then

Heat wave conditions are expected to continue for a few more days until pre-monsoon showers hit the city on Wednesday.

delhi Updated: Jun 24, 2018 09:38 IST
Malavika Vyawahare and Zia Haq
Malavika Vyawahare and Zia Haq
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Delhi monsoon,Delhi rains,Monsoon arrival in Delhi
Delhi has been under severe heat condition for the past month with little relief. (PTI File Photo)

The south-west monsoon is likely to arrive in Delhi around June 29, after a week’s pause in its advance, bringing relief to residents reeling under a relentless heat wave and good tiding for farmers who have slowed sowing their crops out of concern that rainfall may be delayed.

Over the next two to three days, the south-west monsoon will advance over the remaining parts of Maharashtra, Assam, parts of Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, West Bengal; and some parts of south Saurashtra, Jharkhand, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh, according to the India Meteorological Department (IMD).

Delhi and most parts of northwest India can expect a respite from intense heat starting Monday and temperatures are expected to drop further on Wednesday, when pre-monsoon thundershowers hit the national capital.

“Heat wave conditions will persist for a few days, pre-monsoon thunderstorms will hit from June 27 onwards because of the incursion of moisture-carrying easterly winds,” BP Yadav, senior official at the regional forecasting centre in Delhi, said.

“Depending on parameters like wind speed and rainfall received monsoon onset will be declared. It is likely to arrive around its usual time, that is June 29,” Yadav said.

The arrival of the June-to-September monsoon in northwest India spells good news for farmers in the region.

The farmers have slowed sowing the summer Kharif crop that accounts for half of India’s annual food output. The monsoon is critical for agriculture because 60% of India’s crop area lacks access to assured irrigation.

The total area sown under Kharif crops as on June 22 stood at 11.5.million hectares against 12.8 million hectares at this time last year, according to agriculture ministry data.

“The delay is not a big issue as of now. If the monsoon picks up next week, as expected, then sowing will pick up pace,” said Davish Jain, chairman of the Soyabean Processors Association of India.

The south-west monsoon has so far seen a deficit of 10%. Sowing of crops such as cotton, rice and oilseeds has been 12.5% less than last year and about 9% less than the five-year average. Cotton has been planted in about 2 million hectares so far, 12% less than the five-year average. Data from the IMD shows that of the 36 meteorological subdivisions, 14 have received below-normal rains so far.

A weakening in the circulation pattern caused a pause in the monsoon’s advance between June 13 and 21, sparking fears of delayed rains over north India. “In the next few days, the monsoon will get activated over central India, and by July first week it will cover north India,” DS Pai, senior scientist at IMD, said.

The hiatus was attributed to an active convection zone shifting over to the Pacific Ocean, which consequently “led to enhanced cyclogenesis (development or strengthening of a cyclonic circulation) and channeling of cross equatorial flow towards that region,” an IMD statement said.

During the weak phase of the monsoon, heavy rainfall continued over Kerala, coastal Karnataka and the northeast. Over 4,00,000 people have been affected by torrential rains and associated landslides in the northeast.

On the west coast of India, heavy rainfall was reported over Konkan and Goa this week.

“By June 25-26, the monsoon will start advancing towards the northern plains, once the wind direction changes from westerly to easterly, and there are sustained easterly winds and good rainfall, onset of monsoon will be declared over Delhi,” Mahesh Palawat, chief meteorologist at Skymet Weather, a private forecaster, said.

Parts of north and central India, including Uttar Pradesh, pockets of Rajasthan, north Madhya Pradesh and Bihar ,have been in the grip of a heat wave this week. The heat wave conditions will persist till Sunday.

First Published: Jun 24, 2018 09:16 IST