The monsoon will hit the Kerala coast on June 6, five days after its normal onset date, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Wednesday. "This year, the statistical model forecast suggests that the monsoon onset over Kerala is likely to be slightly delayed. The southwest monsoon onset is likely to set over Kerala on 6th June with a model error of plus or minus 4 days," the IMD said. The normal onset date for monsoon over Kerala is June 1, which also marks the start of the four-month rainfall season.
"Conditions are becoming favourable for advance of southwest monsoon over the southern part of Andaman Sea, Nicobar Islands and adjoining southeast Bay of Bengal during May 18-19," the IMD said. On Tuesday, private weather agency Skymet said the monsoon would hit the Kerala coast on June 4, with an error margin of two days.
Last month, in the usual forecast, the IMD had said that country is likely to have 'near normal' monsoon this year with a well distributed rainfall which could be beneficial for the agriculture sector. The seasonal rainfall is likely to be 96 per cent of the Long Period Average (LPA) with a model error of plus or minus five per cent, Secretary Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) M Rajeevan said. The LPA of the season rainfall over the country as a whole for the period 1951-2000 is 89 centimetres.
Significantly, this year the IMD has introduced a category of 'near normal' for rainfall between 96-104 per cent of the LPA. In its forecast last year, the rainfall between 96-104 of the LPA was classified as "normal" category.
Rainfall of 90 to 96 per cent of the LPA is below normal. Ninety-six per cent rainfall borders on below normal and normal category. Weak El Nino conditions are likely to prevail during the monsoon season with reduced intensity, Rajeevan said.
There could some effect of the El Nino in June, but monsoon may pick up pace from July, he added. "Southwest monsoon seasonal (June to September) rainfall over the country as a whole is likely to be near normal," the IMD said in Long Range Forecast for 2019 southwest monsoon rainfall.
IMD Director General KJ Ramesh said overall, the country is expected to have well distributed rainfall scenario during the monsoon season which will be beneficial to farmers in the country during the ensuing kharif season. Several parts of the country are witnessing agricultural distress.