Monsoon to hit Kerala on June 6: India Meteorological Department

New Delhi, May 15 (IANS): Monsoon is expected to arrive in India on June 6, a delay of five days, but it is likely to be "near normal", state forecaster India Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Wednesday.

This comes a day after private forecaster Skymet had said that monsoon was expected to arrive on June 4 and was likely to be mostly "below normal", with 15 per cent chance of drought.

The IMD had last month said that monsoon this year will be "near normal" -- around 96 per cent of the the Long Period Average (LPA) of 887 mm. The average or normal rainfall in the country is defined between 96 per cent and 104 per cent of the 50-year average for the entire four-month monsoon season.

The Skymet, on the other hand, had said that monsoon was likely to be "below normal" at 93 per cent of the LPA owing to developing El Nino in the Pacific Ocean, which posed higher risk of the eastern parts and major portion of Central India being rain deficient.

The IMD has ruled out any adverse impact of El Nino on the monsoon such as erratic rainfall, saying that it will start weakening by June, thus ensuring that the country got normal rainfall, which will be beneficial to the farmers during the kharif season.

El Nino is a sea surface temperature situation over Pacific Ocean that is said to have strong negative influence on Indian monsoon.

Developing weather situations and the factors responsible for the south-west monsoon were "not favourable" this time, which may lead to less rainfall than the average, the Skymet had asserted.

It said the monsoon this year was also likely to be "jerky" as its progression across India would not be smooth.

If monsoon proved to be "below normal" with sluggish progression, the farm sector could take a hit as long gaps between rainfall spells can lead to crop loss.

According to the Skymet, West Bengal, Bihar and Jharkhand in eastern India and Maharashtra's Vidarbha and Marathwada regions, parts of Madhya Pradesh in Central India and parts of Gujarat were at risk of being rain deficient. It may lead to drought.

Comparatively, northwest India and the South Peninsula were expected to do "fairly well" this time with the odds in favour of rainfall being "normal".



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