Monsoon rains to arrive on Kerala coast on May 29
Monsoon rains are expected to arrive on the southern Kerala coast on May 29Updated: May 18, 2018 19:40 IST
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
The monsoon is set to hit the southern state of Kerala on May 29, according to the India Meteorological Department (IMD). The prediction comes with a model error of ± 4 days.
The monsoons usually set over the Andaman and Nicobar Islands before the Indian mainland. This year they will arrive over the islands on May 23, as per the forecast.
The arrival of the rains in Kerala is considered significant because it signals the arrival of the rainy season to the Indian subcontinent.
The monsoons normally arrive around June 1 every year. “Normal is only a 30-year moving average, people adapt their behaviour according to what they perceive as the normal,” Prodipto Ghosh, distinguished fellow at The Energy and Resources Institute, said of the monsoon onset date. “A few days here and there doesn’t matter. but a deviation of, say, 15 days will make a difference.”
Private weather forecasting agency, Skymet Weather, has predicted an onset date of May 28 with an error margin of +/- 2 days.
IMD has predicted monsoon onset dates fairly accurately in the past five years, barring 2015 when they were significantly off the mark. The agency had forecast an onset date of May 30, but the actual arrival date was June 5.
In its preliminary forecast in April, IMD predicted a normal southwest monsoon this year, which occurs when rainfall is between 96-104% of the 50-year average of 887 mm, also called the Long Period Average (LPA).
This year it will be 97% of the LPA with an error margin of +/- 5%, the weather agency said. An updated monsoon forecast is expected in June.
Farmers in rain dependent areas of the country eagerly await the arrival of the rains that feed Kharif crops like rice, maize and millets.
The monsoon season in India lasts between June and September and the rains advance from the south, with northwestern India receiving rains between June 15 and July 15. The rains start withdrawing around August.
First Published: May 18, 2018 16:55 IST