South-west monsoon, the lifeline of the country’s agri-based economy, on Tuesday reached Kerala but with a weak current which may not bring enough rains to peninsular India.
“Monsoon rains have reached Kerala,” Laxman Singh Rathore, Director General, India Meteorological Department (IMD) said in New Delhi.He said conditions were favourable for further advance of monsoon into some more parts of the central Arabian Sea, coastal Karnataka, Goa and parts of south Konkan.
IMD officials brushed aside concerns over delay and insisted that the progress of the monsoon was well within the limits of the forecast model.Monsoon trackers said Mumbai could get its first seasonal rainfall by the weekend but the same could not be said about interior parts of the peninsular region.
D Sivananda Pai, Director National Climate Centre and lead forecaster for monsoon admitted that the monsoonal flows were not strong enough to bring showers to the peninsular region and initially the rains would be confined to the west coast.
IMD data showed Thiruvananthapuram in southern Kerala getting very little rains as compared to central and northern parts of the state.
Monsoon watchers attribute the slight delay in the onset of monsoon to Typhoon Mawar which was active in western Pacific Ocean off the Philippines and sucking away moisture and wind currents to power itself.
Good rains in June are crucial for agriculture operations in south peninsular region, including Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, and parts of Maharashtra.Monsoon rains are crucial for agriculture as only 40 per cent of the cultivable area is under irrigation.
Showers drench North India, heat wave persists in East Sixteen more people succumbed to sunstroke in West Bengal as the mercury continued to soar in the eastern plains, even as the heat wave ebbed marginally in the north as light rains drenched some pockets.
As heatwave intensified in Odisha with 30 sunstroke deaths, most areas sizzled under blistering temperatures as the mercury soared to a record 46.7 degree Celsius in the state capital on Tuesday.
A spell of shower, measuring 12 mm, brought some respite to the national capital Delhi, bringing down the maximum temperature from Monday’s 41.9 degrees Celsius to 40.8 degrees Celsius.
The minimum temperature, however, saw a rise from 29 to 29.5 degrees Celsius.
At least 16 more people succumbed to sunstroke in three districts of southern West Bengal in the last two days, taking the death toll to 32 in the state during the current hot spell.
Light rains drenched isolated parts of Uttar Pradesh, but the showers did little to bring down the intensity of the heat wave which continued to prevail in most pockets of the state.
Rain and thunderstorm are likely to occur at one or two places in the state, the MeT department said.
The temperature dropped marginally in Rajasthan, with the mercury falling below the 45 degrees Celsius mark at most places.
In Punjab and Haryana, there was no let up in the heat wave, with maximum temperatures hovering over 40 degrees Celsius in most parts of the region on Tuesday.