Southwest monsoon arrived earlier than schedule over mainland Kerala on 29thMay. It made a sputtering start over peninsular India and along the West Coast. Monsoon took a big leap over Northeast India covering the entire region in one stretch. Other than this jump, it has literally limped to cover 50% area of the country and more so, the Bay of Bengal arm protracting over Northwest Bay.
Southwest monsoon has taken 3 big pauses in the last 3 weeks. Firstly, it rested short of Goa for nearly 10days, from 31st May – 09thJune. Not only the monsoon current was mild, the progress also was skewed. Peninsular India suffered early losses and the rainfall was deficit in Kerala, Coastal Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
Monsoon shifted goal post to the eastern side in the 2nd stop. After advancing over Northeast India and Sikkim & Sub Himalayan West Bengal on 3rdJune, it made a dead stop over Siliguri. The northern limit of monsoon (NLM) got stuck near Siliguri between 03rd June- 12th June. Even thereafter, it travelled with a snail’s pace to move along foothills of Bihar and brushing Churk, the extreme southeastern town of Uttar Pradesh.
Further advance of the monsoon was interrupted on both sides, the Arabian Sea branch and Bay of Bengal arm, as well. The NLM is now stuck at Porbandar from 16th to 24th June and at Churk from 17th to 24th June. During 3rd and the last onset phase of the monsoon, invariably both the arms move together in their respective areas to cover remaining parts of western and central India and entire northern region.
Favorable conditions are building up for its further advance. Progress over the eastern side is expected to be quicker than the western one. Southwest monsoon is likely to advance over more parts of Uttar Pradesh between 28th-29th June. Further, between 30thJune and 02ndJuly , it is likely to reach Delhi, Uttrakhand, East Rajasthan and more parts of Gujarat.
The sluggish start and long pauses have costed dearly many meteorological sub-divisions. Despite expansive floods over Northeast India, over 40% area of the country reels with deficient/large deficient rainfall. This includes core monsoon zone of rainfed agricultural belt of Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat and Jharkhand. Monsoon pulse, as such, will be slightly weak between 23rd and 26thJune, with daily rainfall likely to be less than the normal. However, better phase of monsoon activity is expected during last days of June and 1st week of July.