The India Meteorological Department (IMD) said the conditions are becoming favourable for the onset of the southwest monsoon over Kerala in the next 2-3 days. According to the latest meteorological indications, westerly winds have strengthened in the lower levels over the sea.
The agriculture sector of India has been eagerly waiting for the monsoon as it has a significant impact on the domestic economy and share markets. Kerala has been seeing rainy and sunny days alternatively for the past few days.
The monsoon has advanced into some parts of the south Arabian Sea, Maldives, adjoining areas of Lakshadweep, and some parts of the Cape Comorin area. The satellite imagery shows an increase in cloudiness over the Kerala coast and adjoining the southeast Arabian Sea. The IMD official said these are favourable conditions for the onset of monsoon in Kerala.
Earlier the monsoon was predicted to start on May 27. On Thursday, the IMD had said it can happen anytime in the coming week and the onset is expected by June 1. In the weather update of May 19, the monsoon was expected to start by May 25.
The IMD had earlier issued a yellow alert for certain regions on May 29. It has now been withdrawn.
A senior IMD scientist said the earlier forecast had mentioned an estimation of plus/minus four days. "Kerala's all 14 identified stations have not received rainfall even today." The onset of monsoon over Kerala is declared if 60% of the 14 weather stations in Kerala and Lakshadweep receive 2.5mm or more rainfall for two consecutive days.
The wind needs to gain stability and strength for the onset of the monsoon. Akshay Deoras, a monsoon researcher with the Britain-based University of Reading, tweeted that the monsoon has now reached the latitude of Kerala. However, the distribution of rainfall in the state is still not proper for the declaration of the onset.
The southwest monsoon normally crosses the Andaman & Nicobar Islands by May 22 but this year, it had crossed the region way before. However, the IMD clarified the onset of monsoon over Andaman & Nicobar Islands and Kerala are not correlated.