Heavy rains

(TOI, BCCL, Kochi)

Wednesday, June 1: Since Sunday, May 29, the southwest monsoon has been steadily setting over the Indian mainland. Following their earlier-than-usual arrival, the first batch of seasonal showers have swept through large swaths of Kerala and Tamil Nadu, gradually expanding their presence across the entire southern peninsula.

Now, according to The Weather Company’s met team, the monsoonal westerly winds from the Arabian Sea and a cyclonic circulation off the Kerala-Karnataka coast are likely to team up to produce continuous wet activity across south peninsular India during the next five days — mainly over Kerala, Mahe and Lakshadweep.

Specifically for the next two days, however, the resultant meteorological conditions are likely to lead to fairly widespread to scattered downpours across Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka on Wednesday and Thursday, with a chance of thunderstorms.

Squally winds (speeds 40-60 kmph) may also prevail across the coastal regions during the next five days.

The wet conditions will become less prominent as we move deeper into the subcontinent. Telangana and Andhra Pradesh will be hit by isolated rains with a slight chance of thunderstorms till Thursday.

Lakshadweep, on the other hand, will be in for widespread rain with lightning-laden thunderstorms till Thursday.

Due to these weather conditions, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has put all of the southern peninsular states under a ‘yellow watch’ on Wednesday (meaning ‘be updated’), with conditions likely to improve thereafter.

And owing to the extremely windy weather, the fishers have also been advised not to head into the following areas:

  • The Southeast Arabian Sea along-and-off the Kerala coast and Lakshadweep, Comorin area and the Gulf of Mannar on Wednesday
  • The Southwest Arabian Sea during the next five days
  • The Southeast Bay of Bengal, adjoining south Andaman Sea, Southwest Bay of Bengal, Gulf of Mannar and south Tamil Nadu coast during June 2-4.

Meanwhile, as per IMD predictions, the southwest monsoon is likely to enter parts of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, the central Arabian Sea, and the south, central and northeast Bay of Bengal during the next 2-3 days. The onset over southern Karnataka may be delayed by 3-4 days, compared to its normal date of June 4.

The IMD announces the monsoon onset when 60 per cent of the state’s accessible weather stations record rainfall of 2.5 mm or more for two consecutive days after May 10. The technical parameters for wind field and outgoing longwave radiation must also be met in conjunction with this burst of rainfall activity.

As for the pre-monsoon precipitation, between March 1 to May 31, many of the southern states have experienced surpluses in rainfall. Kerala (668 mm) and Karnataka (258.1 mm) recorded a ‘large excess’ as compared to their respective seasonal averages, while Rayalaseema (126 mm) and Tamil Nadu (166 mm) saw ‘excess’ precipitation.

Despite Cyclone Asani extending its influence over the east coast, Andhra Pradesh (114 mm) only recorded normal amounts of rainfall, while Telangana suffered deficient rains (42.9 mm) during the same time period.

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