June 1 is the normal date of monsoon’s arrival over Kerala, the first stop in its march into the Indian mainland. In its onset forecast earlier this month, the India Meteorological Department had put monsoon likely arrival at June 5, with an error margin of four days. “With a low pressure system forming over Arabian Sea today and set to turn into a depression, conditions will become favourable for monsoon’s onset over Kerala by June 1. We are not giving a firm date but the arrival is likely on June 1 or 2,” said Mrutyunjay Mohapatra, head of IMD.
The arrival of the rain-bearing system heralds the four-month-long monsoon season in the country. However, India is likely to get widespread rain even before the monsoon’s arrival. The severe heat wave over many areas of north and central India is set to abate with the arrival of a western disturbance over north India.
IMD said, under its influence, scattered to fairly widespread rain and thunderstorms are expected likely over the western Himalayas (Jammu & Kashmir, Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand) as well as the adjoining northern plains from May 28 to 31. Some rainfall is likely over Madhya Pradesh as well.
Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh and Delhi may get isolated thunderstorms along with lightning, hail and gusty winds during this period, the department said. It added wet weather was also likely over Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan till May 30.
Intense rainfall seen over the northeast in the wake of cyclone Amphan is expected to continue, with the plains of Bengal and coastal Odisha too getting rains. South India, particularly the coastal areas and south interior Karnataka, too, is likely to get wet weather, with heavy falls in some areas, due to the approach of the monsoon.
“Widespread rain activity is likely over most parts of the country in the coming week. With this, temperatures are expected to be normal to below normal over the country in the next two weeks,” Mohapatra said.
Meanwhile, the monsoon on Thursday advanced into some more parts of Maldives-Comorin area, more parts of south Bay of Bengal, remaining parts of Andaman Sea and Andaman & Nicobar Islands.
Mohapatra said monsoon’s further advance will depend on how the depression in the Arabian Sea moves. “If it continues to move northwards towards Gujarat, the monsoon’s progress will be aided. However, if it curves towards the west towards Oman, as many models are indicating, the monsoon will temporarily weaken,” the IMD chief added.