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Monsoon to be delayed by five days, to hit Kerala on June 6

The normal onset date for monsoon over Kerala is June 1, which also marks the start of the four-month rainfall season.

ET Bureau|
Updated: May 16, 2019, 06.35 AM IST
On Tuesday, private weather agency Skymet said the monsoon would hit the Kerala coast on June 4, with an error margin of two days.
NEW DELHI: The monsoon will hit Kerala on June 6, five days later than its normal onset, the weather office said, but it has maintained that seasonal rainfall from June to September would be close to normal.

“The onset will not affect the quantum of rains and the agriculture output.

More than the onset date, it’s the distribution which has an impact on crops. Last year, the onset was advanced by two days to May 29 but the monsoon had ended up being below normal,” said a senior IMD official.

The IMD had forecast a near normal monsoon last month, which the official weather forecaster is maintaining after the announcement of its delayed onset. It said the forecast onset date of June 6 has a model error of four days.“We still believe that the monsoon would be near normal, which is close to 96% of 50-year average for the entire fourmonth season,” said DS Pai, head of IMD’s long range forecast.

The amount of rainfall and its distribution determine crop output, which influences demand for consumer goods, two-wheelers and various other products.

The IMD’s forecast of the monsoon onset is in line with the estimation of private weather forecaster Skymet, which, on Tuesday, has said that the monsoon will arrive in Kerala on June 4 with a two-day variation.

Skymet, however, expects rainfall to be below normal.

IMD’s operational forecasts of the date of onset during the past 14 years (2005-18) have proved to be correct, except in 2015 when rains hit Kerala coast on June 5 instead of the May 30 forecast.

The Met office said the advance of monsoon over the Andaman Sea conditions are becoming favourable for the advance of southwest monsoon over the southern part of Andaman Sea, Nicobar Islands and adjoining southeast Bay of Bengal during May 18-19, 2019. “Normally monsoon reaches Kerala within 10 days after hitting Andamans. But this time progress is sluggish due to developing of weak El Niño. However, there is not much correlation between the date of monsoon onset and the seasonal monsoon rainfall over the country,” said an IMD official.

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