Monsoon to hit Kerala 5 days early: IMD

NEW DELHI, 13 May: The southwest monsoon, considered as the lifeline of India’s agri-based economy, is likely to bring first showers to Kerala by 27 May, five days earlier than the normal onset date, the weather office announced on Friday.

“This year, the onset of southwest monsoon over Kerala is likely to be earlier than the normal date of onset. The monsoon onset over Kerala is likely to be on 27 May with a model error of four days,” the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.

In 2009, the southwest monsoon had reached Kerala on 23 May.

Weather scientists attribute the early onset of the southwest monsoon over Kerala to the influence of the remnants of cyclone Asani that triggered the cross-equatorial flow, a key factor for the seasonal rains.

The early arrival of the southwest monsoon comes at a time when parts of northwest India are experiencing extremely high maximum temperatures.

On Thursday, the weather office had forecast the onset of the southwest monsoon over the Andaman & Nicobar islands on 15 May, nearly a week ahead of schedule.

“In association with enhanced cross equatorial winds, conditions are becoming favourable for the advance of southwest monsoon into South Andaman Sea, Nicobar Islands and some parts of southeast Bay of Bengal, around 15 May,” the IMD said in a statement.

At the same time, the weather office made it clear that past data suggest that there is no association of the date of monsoon advance over the Andaman Sea either with the date of monsoon onset over Kerala or with the seasonal monsoon rainfall over the country. (PTI)