The India Meteorological Department (IMD) said rains have been vigorous in parts of Saurashtra, the Gujarat region, Vidarbha, parts of central Maharashtra and some parts of south Chhattisgarh.
Conditions are favourable for further advancement into Gujarat, Chhattisgarh and Orissa, and the remaining parts of central Maharashtra, Vidarbha, West Bengal, Sikkim and some parts of southern Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand and Bihar during the next two-three days, the IMD said on Sunday.
The department also predicted thunderstorms in many places in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Punjab and Haryana in the next two days. So far, the monsoon has been on track and we are keeping a close watch on its progress, DS Pai, head of long-range monsoon forecast at IMD, told FE from Pune.
Since 2005, the IMD has been issuing operational forecasts for the date of the onset of monsoon in Kerala using an indigenous statistical model, with a model error of four days. This year, monsoon was predicted to break over Kerala on June 3, while its actual entry was on June 1.
In April, science and technology minister Jaipal Reddy had released IMD's first long-range forecast. According to IMD, quantitative seasonal rainfall during June-September is likely to be 98% of the long-period average (LPA), or the average countrywide annual rainfall (89 cm) recorded between 1951 and 2000.
The IMDs forecast stated that rainfall during the monsoon months would most likely be normal, in the range of 96%-104% of the LPA. Reddy said the probability of a normal monsoon was high this year.
The IMD said the cumulative seasonal rainfall for the country as a whole is 1% below the LPA one week after the entry of the monsoon rains into Kerala. The rains are crucial for more than 55% of rainfed agricultural land of India.