KERALA

South West monsoon brings good rain

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM MAY 29. Almost the entire South Kerala and southern parts of Lakshadweep received good rain today following the onset of the South West monsoon over the southern tip of the peninsula.

The MET Centre has predicted conditions favourable for the advance of rains into North Kerala and Lakshadweep over the next two days. With monsoon conditions active, almost all the southern districts witnessed widespread rainfall with isolated heavy showers.

The highest rainfall of 11 cm was recorded in Kochi. Thiruvananthapuram received 6 cm while the airport registered 5 cm. The following is the rainfall recorded at other stations: Piravam and Mankombu- 9 cm, Thiruvalla and Munnar- 8 cm. The rainfall was less intense in the northern districts.

The MET Centre director, V. K. Gangadharan, said the monsoon had set in over the State, two days in advance. Last year, the onset was earlier, on May 23. The IMD centre at Pune has predicted a normal South West monsoon for the 14th year in succession. It is estimated that this year's monsoon would be 99 per cent of the long-term average in South India while for the whole country, it would be 101 per cent.

The South West monsoon normally takes about six weeks to cover the whole country. It has been predicted that the process would be complete by June 15. Last year, due to the early onset, the monsoon had covered the whole of India by June 3. Mr. Gangadharan said the monsoon activity would be more intense during late night and early morning with relatively less rainfall during the afternoons. Wind velocity is slightly less than normal. Rainfall could intensify in the coming days if a low pressure zone forms in the Bay of Bengal, he said.

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