Rama Krishna Sangem
Rainy season in India is delayed by 4-5 days this year. Instead of June 1, when monsoon rains begin in Kerala, it will be June 4. Similarly, by the time monsoons cover Karnataka, Andhra and Telangana, it will be June 10-12, according to latest weather forecast that is made available on May 16, Tuesday. Enter of monsoon mean cool weather and cloudy skies all over, but showers will occur only when humidity precipitates.
The southwest monsoon rains are likely to be “slightly delayed” in 2023 and are forecast to hit the Kerala coast on June 4, said the India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Tuesday.
State-run IMD’s forecast has a model error of plus and minus four days and it comes after Skymet, a private agency, said that monsoon rains could be delayed and will be weak. The rains usually arrive on June 1.
Forecast on 6 parameters
IMD gives out its monsoon onset forecast based on an indigenously developed statistical model that uses six parameters, according to an official statement. The parameters are 1. minimum temperatures over northwest India, 2. pre-monsoon rainfall peak over South Peninsula, 3. outgoing long wave radiation (OLR),4. lower tropospheric zonal wind over Southeast Indian Ocean, 5. mean sea level pressure over Subtropical North-West Pacific Ocean and 6. upper tropospheric zonal wind over North East Indian Ocean.
IMD said that in the last 18 years starting from 2005 to 2022, its operational forecast has been correct except in 2015. The onset of southwest monsoon is being keenly watched this year as it could give an early sign of its progress over the Indian subcontinent, particularly when the emergence of the El Nino weather pattern has raised concerns over rainfall in 2023.
A poor start to southwest monsoon does not mean that rains would be deficient or patchy. Timely and well distributed rain is key to get good agriculture production in any given year, more so when some forecasters are predicting a below normal monsoon in 2024.