Rainfall will most likely be normal this season

Exactly a week from now, Karnataka could be in the throes of the southwest monsoon, according to the meteorological centre here.

The monsoon is expected to arrive in the State on June 5, and possibly even a day or two earlier, said B. Puttanna, Director of the meteorological centre.

And in all likelihood, the monsoon will be “normal” this year, he added.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) had forecast that the monsoon would hit Kerala on June 1, the day the system conventionally arrives on the Indian coast. “It typically takes another four to five days to cover Karnataka,” said Mr. Puttanna.

However, the thick carpet of clouds over the State is not a harbinger of the monsoon, said Mr. Puttanna, adding that the wind direction has not yet changed from northwest to southwest as it must before the onset of monsoon.

“The clouding is due to an upper air cyclonic circulation in the Bay of Bengal and is disconnected to the monsoon. We can expect light rain for the next couple of days, but the system will dissipate and move northeast.”

Conditions are favourable for the onset of the monsoon, J. Srinivasan, Chairperson of the Divecha Centre for Climate Change, Indian Institute of Science, told The Hindu. The monsoon has in fact already set in over the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, he added. Several conditions converge before the onset of the monsoon, he explained: the wind direction changes to the southwest direction and picks up speed over the Arabian Sea increasing the moisture in the air.

On average, the three sub-regions of the State — south interior, north interior and coastal Karnataka — receive 660 mm, 506 mm and 3083 mm of rainfall respectively over the four monsoon months of June to September.

According to the IMD release last month, the southwest monsoon seasonal rainfall for the country as a whole will most likely be normal, that is 96 to 104 per cent of the Long Period Average. The IMD will update its forecast in June with specific figures for the four geographical regions of the country.

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