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Monsoon may arrive early

Summer cheer: Visitors to the Fort Kochi beach revel in the high tides on Thursday. Kerala has been witnessing widespread showers over the past couple of days.   | Photo Credit: Thulasi Kakkat

Monsoon rains may come two days earlier to the Andaman & Nicobar islands, but this will have no bearing on how soon it reaches Kerala, according to K.J. Ramesh, Director-General, Meteorology, India Meteorological Department.

“Typically, the monsoon system reaches south Andaman around the 17th. There’s a circulation [clouds and rain-bearing winds] developing in the Andaman. If it persists, then there’s a chance it will reach there early,” he told The Hindu over the phone, “From there, it normally takes two weeks [to reach Kerala].”

El Nino threat

Monsoon typically sets in over Kerala by June 1, but there have been instances of powerful winds gusting into the Andamans and then stalling. In 2015, for instance, the monsoon arrived five days later than the IMD’s estimate of May 30.

Earlier this week, as The Hindu reported, the agency had indicated that the threat to the Indian monsoon from an El Nino may have receded.

However, it is not yet clear if this would result in improved rainfall. The odds of the meteorological anomaly, known to dry up the monsoon, have dipped and so called “neutral conditions” are likely to prevail, according to D.S. Pai, Chief Forecaster, IMD Pune.

Another sea anomaly, the Indian Ocean Dipole (that refers to oscillating temperatures in that ocean), was likely to be positive. “It is already becoming positive,” Mr. Pai said.

A positive dipole buffered against an El Nino’s effects, but didn’t on its own improve chances of rains. Mr. Ramesh said the latest assessment was in line with international models.

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Printable version | Oct 23, 2020 9:28:47 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/monsoon-may-arrive-early/article18428395.ece

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