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Monsoon ‘above normal’ but hot, humid June ahead: IMD

ByJayashree Nandi, New Delhi
May 28, 2024 04:14 AM IST

Monsoon rainfall is expected to be “above normal” at 106% of long period average with a model error of +/-4%, the weather office said.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Monday stuck to its first forecast and reiterated that this year’s Southwest monsoon would see “above normal” rainfall, but warned that it will be a hot and humid June in northwest India (including Delhi), with the humidity making it worse than the ongoing heatwave in the region.

Normal to above normal temperatures are likely over most parts of the country in June with significantly above normal temperatures over all of northwest India, IMD warned on Monday. (Sunil Ghosh/HT Photo)
Normal to above normal temperatures are likely over most parts of the country in June with significantly above normal temperatures over all of northwest India, IMD warned on Monday. (Sunil Ghosh/HT Photo)

June could also see below normal rains in northwest India, IMD added.

But overall, monsoon rainfall is expected to be “above normal” at 106% of long period average with a model error of +/-4%, the weather office said in its second Long Range Forecast of the Southwest monsoon. It said the same in its first LRF on April 15.

The forecast is good news because the Southwest monsoon delivers nearly 70% of India’s rain and is the lifeblood of its economy. As much as 51% of India’s farmed area accounting for 40% of production is rain-fed and 47% of the population is dependent on agriculture for livelihood.

Heatwave updates: Rajasthan's Phalodi hottest at 49.8 degrees

Consistent and moderate amounts of rain — as opposed to heavy or very heavy rainfall days — is thus crucial for the country’s agriculture and rural sector. Good rains can help keep prices of staples such as sugar, pulses, rice and vegetables under control, in turn restraining the sticky inflation problem.

Conditions will become favourable for advance of monsoon into some more parts of south Arabian Sea, some parts of Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, some more parts of Bay of Bengal and some parts of northeastern states over the next five days, IMD added. It had previously predicted the onset of the monsoon over Kerala on May 31. In Monday’s forecast, the department did not issue any updates about the date of onset.

There is a 32% probability that monsoon will be above normal (105 to 110% of Long Period Average or LPA) and a 29% probability that monsoon rainfall will be excess (over 110% of LPA), IMD said. There is 31% probability that monsoon will be normal (96 to 104%) and only 8% probability that it will be below normal (90 to 95%) and 2% probability of deficient rains ( below 90% of LPA). LPA for the season as a whole for the period 1971-2020 is 87cm.

There is likely to be normal rainfall over northwest India (92 to 108% of LPA); below normal rain over east and northeast India (less than 94% of LPA); above normal rainfall over central India (106% of LPA); and above normal rainfall over peninsular India (106% of LPA).

Read Here: Fishermen go fishing, ignoring IMD warning not to venture out in North Bay of Bengal

Most importantly, the monsoon core zone consisting of most of the rain-fed agriculture areas in the country is expected to record above normal rain (106%) of LPA.

“We are sticking to our earlier forecast of above normal rain and there is a very good confidence around 61% probability that monsoon will be above normal or excess. So we can expect good rains this year,” said M Mohapatra, director general, IMD.

Last year’s monsoon was “below normal” with rainfall at 94.4% of LPA.

Hot, humid June over NW India with below normal rainfall

Normal to above normal temperatures are likely over most parts of the country in June with significantly above normal temperatures over all of northwest India, IMD warned on Monday. Below normal temperatures are likely over some parts of southern and peninsular India.

Read Here: IMD issues ‘red’ alert, no relief for Delhi, Haryana, these states

“The nature of heat waves during June may change in June. Days are likely to be hot and humid so the feels like temperature will be higher and warm nights will be recorded. Overall it may be more uncomfortable than the current heat wave period,” Mohapatra added.

May characterised by extreme weather

May has been dominated by extreme weather, with extreme heat over northwest India, extreme rainfall over peninsular India and severe cyclone, Remal which developed over Bay of Bengal and caused large scale devastation over West Bengal and Bangladesh coasts on Sunday and Monday.

There were two major heat spells in May. Between May 1 to 7 there was 5-7 days of heat wave over Odisha, Gangetic West Bengal, southeast Peninsular India and interior parts of Karnataka. The second spell was between May 16 and 26. There were 9 to 12 days of heat wave to severe heat wave over Rajasthan and Gujarat with temperatures reaching 45 to 50 degrees C. Over Delhi NCR, South Haryana and Southwest UP and Punjab, there were 5 to 7 days of heat wave to severe heat wave. Assam also experienced heat waves with record temperatures on May 25 and 26. Normally only three days of heat wave are expected in May.

The second half of May saw a complete absence of western disturbances .

Heat wave to severe heat wave conditions are very likely in many parts of northwest India and adjoining area during next three days. Temperatures may reduce gradually but briefly from May 30 due to an approaching western disturbance, IMD said.

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