Weathermen predict below-normal rainfall
Summer showers which have fallen short by 15 per cent in Kerala and raining three days behind the schedule may delay the onset of the southwest monsoon.
Rain figures compiled by disaster management experts till last week indicate that the State got 92 cm of rainfall in place of the expected 108 cm. Weathermen hope the rain situation may improve during the next one month. Many parts of the State have been receiving good showers these days and one needs to wait till the end of the current rain spell to assess the situation, they say.
P.V. Joseph, former director of the India Meteorological Department, says the rain that Kerala has been currently receiving could be considered as a precursor of the southwest monsoon.
Normally, the onset of the monsoon happens from 35 to 40 days after the State receives this spell of showers. Since Friday, many parts of the State have been receiving pre-monsoon showers, he says.
However, this spell is delayed by three days which, in turn, may delay the onset of the monsoon. Normally, this spell was expected to lash the State between April 20 and 24.
Considering the delay in the pre-monsoon showers, the onset may also be delayed. The southwest monsoon may set in around June 4 this year, he says.
The long-term mean date of onset of monsoon over Kerala is June 1.Scarce showers
Rain shortage is reported to be the highest in Malappuram and Palakkad districts. The shortage is pitched to be around 60 per cent in these districts. However, Thiruvananthapuram has got excess rain from the summer spell. The capital city has received 7 per cent excess showers. The district has got 126 cm rain in place of the normal 118 cm.
The shortage of summer showers should not be linked to the water shortage in the State, say disaster management experts. Water scarcity is reported this year in traditionally water-scarcity areas. These include the islands of Kuttanad and Ernakulam, Palakkad and hill districts which have a history of shortage, they say.
Kerala received copious showers during the previous southwest monsoon when it rained 26 per cent excess. That time, Kerala got 257 cm rain from the first spell. This season, meteorologists have predicted below-normal rainfall. Last year also they had predicted below-normal monsoon rainfall in the State.
The good monsoon the State had received during the last season had helped in improving the groundwater table, which had fallen considerably during the previous drought season, they said.