Monsoon stays weak over Kerala, 50% deficient: IMD

Updated on Jun 06, 2022 05:23 AM IST

Many areas in the state usually receive average 6-8 cm of rain in the first few days after the monsoon arrives, but this time the highest rainfall was recorded at 5 cm in Mancopmpu of Alappuzha district on Friday.

An aircraft lands amid dense clouds during monsoon season, at the Thiruvananthapuram International Airport, on June 1. (PTI)
An aircraft lands amid dense clouds during monsoon season, at the Thiruvananthapuram International Airport, on June 1. (PTI)

Thiruvananthapuram: The southwest monsoon is making slow progress over Kerala after arriving three days ahead of its scheduled date, weather bureau data show.

Rainfall in the southern state, the first port of call for the monsoon, has been deficient by over 50% compared with the average in the first few days of onset, the regional meteorological department in Thiruvananthapuram said on Sunday.

Some areas in Thiruvananthapuram recorded a high of 32 degrees Celsius on Saturday, which was quite unusual in the early days of monsoon.

Many areas in Kerala usually receive average 6-8 cm of rain in the first few days after the monsoon arrives, but this time the highest rainfall was recorded at 5 cm in Mancopmpu of Alappuzha district on Friday.

Rainfall have been low because there was no active weather system that boosts monsoon activity. “The monsoon has not reached its active mode yet. There hasn’t been any active weather system and no strong winds, because of which we are only seeing light rain in the state,” said an official of the Met Department.

This is expected to continue, according to Mahesh Palawat, vice-president of meteorology and climate change at SkyMet Weather Services, a private forecaster. “At least for the next one week, there is no forecast of heavy showers,” he said. “In parts of interior Karnataka, we might see some good spells.”

Considered the lifeline of the country, the southwest monsoon usually sets over Kerala on June 1 and surges towards north and the northeast and drenches the whole country by July 15. The influence of a cyclonic circulation over Sri Lanka and a westerly wind from the Arabian Sea can trigger widespread rains in next couple of days, weathermen said. Moderate to heavy rainfall is be expected in Kerala between June 7 and 10, SkyMet said.

The rain pattern in the state is undergoing changes in the past few years and rainfall was becoming stronger towards the end of season in August and September, weather experts said.

In 2018, the state had witnessed the worst floods of the century that claimed at least 480 lives. This year, the state received an excess 94% excess pre-monsoon rainfall from March 1 to May 18 at 460 mm compared with the average 235 mm.

Unusually heavy rains caused heavy loss to crops in many areas in May. Vegetables cultivate was particularly impacted. The paddy harvest and the banana crop were also destroyed in some area.

Cumulonimbus clouds formed unseasonally due to warming of the Arabian Sea,which resulted in high water holding capacity that triggered erratic heavy downpour, a climate expert said.

“Rain pattern is undergoing many changes in the era of climatic changes,” said S Abilash, head of the department of atmospheric sciences at the Cochin University of Science and Technology. “The Arabian Sea is also warming up at an alarming rate. Unconventional and unseasonal rains are contributions of climatic change.”

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