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Delayed Monsoon Over India May Worsen Flooding, Trouble Harvesting
IMD surmised that delay in monsoon's onset will not affect sowing of major crops. The agency believes that pre-monsoon showers will provide ample moisture for sowing activities, especially in South India
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The onset of monsoon is going to be delayed over the country according to the India Meteorological Department (IMD). The government's voice on weather announced on Sunday, May 15 that onset of southwest monsoon will be delayed by six days from its normal date of arrival of June 1 over Kerala.
If this prediction comes true then the monsoon would start its journey over the Indian sub-continent on June 7. The IMD had been able to predict onset of monsoon with great accuracy during the last decade. The agency got the date wrong only in 2015. The forecast has a margin of error of 4 days.
Skymet, a private weather forecaster has earlier suggested an ahead of time monsoon onset. According to its predictions, monsoon is expected to reach Kerala shores between May 28 and 30.
The performance of monsoon however will not be affected by the late arrival. The progress of southwest monsoon over the country may as well remain uninfluenced by the delay in onset. The movement of the southwest monsoon from Kerala up to the Himalayan perimeter is decided by many local and short range factors like formation of cyclonic circulations over the Bay of Bengal and throbbing of (monsoon) troughs, among others.
IMD surmised that delay in monsoon's onset will not affect sowing of major crops. The agency believes that pre monsoon showers will provide ample moisture for sowing activities, especially in South India.
The onset of monsoon is a single event in a weather spectacle that plays out over a season spanning four months, June to September. Interestingly, the monsoon is declared over Kerala (and India) when sixty percent of the stations (IMD's weather data recording facilities located in different administrative areas) in Kerala or more, record a rainfall of two and half millimetres of rainfall or more, for two consecutive days.
This is a technical qualification that might not be met even as many parts of Kerala and South India continues to witness good rainfall. These showers however will not be termed as monsoon rains.
The delay in the onset of monsoon will not affect its performance but there might be different renditions. The delay may shrink the monsoon season leading to more heavy rainfall events. Years with above normal monsoon are typically accompanied by excess rains leading to floods. A diminished monsoon season with above normal rains is likely to bring more distress related to flooding.
In another version, the procrastination in monsoon's arrival may extend the monsoon season with a late withdrawal. This occurrence will not auger well for harvesting of Kharif crops that are typically carried out after monsoon's withdrawal by end September.