It could be another two days before the southwest monsoon makes its arrival in Karnataka. Less than a day after it entered Kerala, a cyclone brewing in the Arabian Sea steered the system away from the Indian coast, in a north-westerly direction, on Tuesday.
The cyclonic system, named Phet, which is now around 1,000 km away from the west coast of India, might “re-curve” north-eastwards after 24 hours, towards Gujarat and the adjoining parts of Pakistan, according to the India Meteorological Department. “Karnataka can expect monsoon only after its onset in Gujarat,” B. Puttanna, Director of the Meteorological Centre here told The Hindu.
Systems of low pressure and cyclones are integral parts of the monsoon, serving as “steering currents,” he explained. Last year too, cyclone Aila influenced the monsoon, stalling it by nearly three weeks soon after its onset. Despite the possible two-day hiatus, the monsoon is likely to arrive in the State earlier than the usual onset date, which is June 5 for Karnataka, said Mr. Putanna.
Rainfall is expected to be good this year at 98 per cent of the long-period average. Various criteria have to be met before the department declares monsoon over any State, which takes into account the quantity of rainfall, its consistency and the area covered, he added.
Meanwhile Bangalore received 3 mm from thundershowers on Tuesday evening. Rainfall remained moderate in the rest of the State with Hukkeri in Belgaum recording the highest amount at 50 mm. Rain and thundershowers could occur at many places over coastal Karnataka and at isolated places over interior Karnataka in the next two days, according the Meteorological Centre.