The Indian Metrological Department has said the southwest monsoon onset is likely to set over Kerala on 6th June with a model error of plus or minus 4 days. Traditionally the date for onset of monsoon over Kerala is June 1.
“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. This year, the statistical model forecast suggests that the monsoon onset over Kerala is likely to be slightly delayed” said the IMD.
Private weather forecaster Skymet has also predicted the late onset of monsoon in Kerala adding that they expect below normal rains. “The monsoon is beginning under the shadow of the El Niño, which is likely to have its impact on the rainfall. It’s not a very happy situation. The onset and further progress is also not expected to be very smooth,” according to Jatin Singh, managing director, Skymet.
El Niño, a global ocean phenomenon marked by warming of the equatorial Pacific Ocean, is associated with below normal rains in India. The last El Niño episode in India was in 2014-2015, associated with back-to-back droughts.
Post elections the focus will be on the progress of the monsoon because of farmlands are dependent on rain-fed irrigation and there is widespread rural distress, particularly in central and western regions. There is already a consumption slowdown being witnessed in the country with car and bike sales steadily falling over last three months and FMCG companies also reporting a slowdown in volume growth of shampoos and toothpastes.