Southwest monsoon misses its date; may reach Kerala in ‘next 2-3 days’

"Southwest Monsoon has further advanced into some more parts of South Arabian Sea, entire Maldives & adjoining areas of Lakshadweep and some more parts of Comorin area," the IMD said.

Representational image.

The southwest monsoon missed the May 26 onset date over Kerala as predicted by private forecaster Skymet earlier and it is also unlikely to arrive today (May 27) as forecast by the India Meteorological Department (IMD).

On Friday, the IMD said, “Conditions are becoming favourable for monsoon onset over Kerala during next 2-3 days.”

Also read: Monsoons in India normal this year; 99% rainfall expected

In a series of tweets, the IMD said, “Southwest Monsoon has further advanced into some more parts of South Arabian Sea, entire Maldives & adjoining areas of Lakshadweep and some more parts of Comorin area.”

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“As per the latest meteorological indications, westerly winds have strengthened in the lower levels over the south Arabian Sea and deepened. As per satellite imagery, there is an increase in cloudiness over the Kerala coast and adjoining the southeast Arabian Sea.

“Hence, conditions are becoming favorable for monsoon onset over Kerala during next 2-3 days. Further conditions are also favourable for the advance of Southwest Monsoon into some more parts of the Arabian Sea and Lakshadweep area during the same period,” it added.

Skymet Weather Services said, “Numerical weather models failed us this time”.

GP Sharma, president, Skymet, told The Times of India, “Monsoon missed the May 26 onset date over Kerala predicted by us earlier. Numerical weather models failed us this time as the current monsoon situation could not be predicted. Forecasts were clearly indicating that the onset was supposed to happen well before time this year, as had been predicted by all experts concerned. However, we feel that the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) index, which has become more negative over the past fortnight, seems to have been responsible for weakening the monsoon even while it was expected to advance. Negative IOD is not good for the Indian monsoon.”

Source: India Meteorological Department (IMD)

“We would be coming up with the exact likely date of monsoon onset over Kerala soon. On Thursday, just 33% of the stations in Kerala reported significant rainfall. That is a major issue why the onset over Kerala cannot be declared on Friday. Convection seems to be increasing over places like Lakshadweep, but over Kerala, rainfall has not been significant lately. Other onset criteria over Kerala have already taken place. We are, however, still monitoring the rainfall over the coastal state,” a senior IMD official was quoted as saying by TOI.

Also read: Pre-monsoon floods claim 7 lives in Assam, leave 2 lakh displaced

The IMD had predicted the monsoon to arrive on May 27 but now the weather department has clarified that its forecast has an “error margin” of four days before or after.

“We have not given any forecast for monsoon arrival as yet,” M Mohapatra, director general of IMD said, according to a Hindustan Times report. “We had said monsoon arrival is likely to be on May 27 with an error margin of +/-4 days.”

“Southwesterly winds have weakened and the cloudiness or the outgoing longwave radiation is not optimum for monsoon onset yet. We have to wait for monsoon winds to strengthen before we can announce monsoon onset over Kerala. Monsoon onset may happen closer to June 1,” said Mahesh Palawat, vice president, meteorology and climate change at Skymet, the report added.

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