Southwest monsoon comes early in India! Rainfall pace, trends, coverage explained

By: |
June 16, 2021 3:19 PM

Southwest monsoon or rainy season for India comes in June with downpour beginning from the southern state of Kerala, eventually making its way up to the other parts of the country.

Normally, monsoon reaches Delhi by June 27 and covers the entire country by July 8. Last year, the wind system had reached Delhi on June 25 and covered the entire country by June 29.Normally, monsoon reaches Delhi by June 27 and covers the entire country by July 8. Last year, the wind system had reached Delhi on June 25 and covered the entire country by June 29.

Southwest monsoon or rainy season for India comes in June with downpour beginning from the southern state of Kerala, eventually making its way up to the other parts of the country. This year, the southwest monsoon was noted two days behind the schedule in Kerala. However, in just a matter of 10 days, the monsoon progressed rapidly and has now covered over two-thirds of the country.

According to the the daily weather report by the India Meteorological Department (IMD), the northern limit of monsoon passed through Diu, Surat, Bhopal, Nandurbar, Hamirpur, Nagaon, Bareilly, Barabanki, Saharanpur, Ambala, and Amritsar. For some cities in southern India as well, the monsoon has arrived 7 to 10 days ahead of its scheduled date. Barring states like West Bengal, Kerala, Gujarat, all states in the northeast, and Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, the remaining parts had received a cumulative rainfall in excess or in large excess.

In fact, in parts of Northwest India including Rajasthan, western Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab and Delhi, rainfall has been missed.

Early monsoon

It is to note that monsoon arrived timely over the Andaman Sea on May 21 on the back of the formation of Cyclone Yaas in the Bay of Bengal during the third week of May. However, the onset was delayed by two days over Kerala as the monsoon arrived on June 3. But since then, the progress has been quick in a short period of time. The strong westerly winds from the Arabian Sea along with the low-pressure system formed over the North Bay of Bengal gave impetus to strong winds. These winds currently lie over eastern Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

As the currents strengthened, the monsoon advanced into West Bengal, the Northeast, Odisha, Bihar, Jharkhand, and some parts of Chhattisgarh. Also, an off-shore trough that has been prevailing for a week between Maharashtra and Kerala led to the early arrival of monsoon over Goa, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Telangana, Maharashtra and southern Gujarat.

In the last 10 years, monsoon has covered the entire country in June four times- 2020, 2018, 2015 and 2013. In other years, the monsoon was delayed in many cities.

Monsoon pace

This time, even though the monsoon has come early for many parts, it is unlikely that it will maintain the same pace going forward. The further progress can be slow, a report by The IE noted. Till around June 25, the monsoon is expected to move at a slower pace until an advance takes place due to a fresh pulse that can revive the monsoon currents. Citing Mrutyunjay Mohapatra, director general, IMD, the report said that the monsoon in the Northwest India will only be active when the monsoon currents (can either be from the Arabian Sea or the Bay of Bengal) will reach the regions. This is not expected to happen anytime soon, therefore, the monsoon progress will remain slow.

Further, a stream of mid-latitude westerly winds is expected to approach the northwestern part of India that will hinder the monsoon advancement in the coming days.

It is to note that the early arrival of monsoon does not necessarily mean more rainfall. In the years 2014 and 2015, it took 42 days and 22 days respectively, for the monsoon to cover the entire nation and despite this, the country was in a rainfall deficit. This year, it may be possible that the rainfall is recorded above 170 mm.

To be sure, just because monsoons have arrived in major parts of the country, summer is here to stay for some time. Despite rainfalls, many parts in India have seen dry conditions with temperature climbing to 40 degree Celcius. In fact in some regions, heat waves have been reported.

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