The weather bureau announced on Monday that Mumbai may see the onset of monsoon within the next 48 hours. The southwest monsoon has progressed further into parts of Maharashtra, including Alibaug and Malegaon, but is yet to reach the city. Despite intermittent showers, Mumbai and other areas of the north Konkan coast have seen a two-week delay in monsoon onset, making it the longest wait for rainfall since 2009.“Within the next 48 hours (ie June 26), the southwest monsoon onset is likely over Mumbai, provided rain-bearing criteria are fulfilled. The criteria include consecutive rainfall for two days amounting to 2.5mm per day and supporting wind direction being westerly,” said Shubhangi Bhute of India Meteorological Department (IMD), in Mumbai. “The current wind direction is westerly, but based on a cyclonic circulation (weather system) located over south Gujarat and surrounding areas, intensity of rain is likely to increase over Mumbai and surrounding areas from Tuesday onwards. In such a situation, monsoon onset can be declared by Wednesday,” she said. The weather bureau said the southwest monsoon has progressed over more parts of Maharashtra, including the remaining parts of Marathwada and Vidarbha.On Monday, Santacruz weather station, which is representative of the suburbs, recorded traces of rain while Colaba, representative of south Mumbai, recorded 7.4mm between 8.30am and 5.30pm. “Majority of the rainfall confined to Colaba region, Andheri to Borivli, isolated areas in the eastern suburbs, Thane, Navi Mumbai, and other areas in MMR,” said an IMD official. Moisture levels were high as Colaba recorded 98% humidity while Santacruz recorded 72%.As per the IMD, rainfall deficiency between June 1 and June 24 (8.30am) was 54% in the suburbs and 68% in south Mumbai.Private weather forecasting agency Skymet said, “Sustained rainfall over Mumbai is expected from Tuesday night onwards, which is expected to last through the week. However, rainfall intensity over interior Maharashtra will reduce from Wednesday or Thursday till the first week of July. Thus, crop sowing should be avoided until rains pick up again,” said Mahesh Palawat, vice president (meteorology and climate change), Skymet.