The southwest monsoon strongly picked up pace over the past two days, covering almost all major parts of the country, including Delhi and Mumbai.
“As the monsoon has again become active, there is a possibility that it will cover the country by the first week of July, which is normal,” D Sivananda Pai, scientist at the India Meteorological Department (IMD), and a well-known authority on Indian monsoons, told Business Standard.
The rains reached Delhi and Mumbai on June 25, something, according to meteorologists, that has not happened since June 21, 1961.
The normal date for the onset of the monsoon in Mumbai is June 11 and for Delhi it is June 27 (according to the data sourced from 1961-2000).
The historical data that meteorologists have shared shows 1961 was an El Niño-neutral year.
“Till 0830 hours today (Sunday), the highest rainfall recorded was 18 cm in Mumbai and 5 cm in Delhi,” IMD Director General Mrutyunjay Mohapatra said at a press conference on Sunday.
The northern limit of the southwest monsoon is little short of covering the entire country.
The pick-up in the southwest monsoon, mainly over the rain-fed western, central and some parts of southern India, augurs well for the sowing of kharif crops, particularly paddy, oilseeds, and pulses. Sowing has seriously fallen behind.
The rains would bring relief to northern, eastern, and central parts of the country. The heat wave over the past few days has caused deaths.
Till last week (June 23), the sowing of crops was below par, with the acreage under key pulses such as urad, arhar, and soybean, and rice leading the drop.
Traders and market sources said as long as the ideal time frame for sowing was not breached, any delay in planting might not cause any big impact on yields.
“The southwest monsoon has further advanced into remaining parts of Central Arabian Sea, some of north Arabian Sea, remaining parts of Maharashtra including Mumbai, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, some parts of Gujarat, Rajasthan and Haryana, remaining parts of Uttarakhand and most parts of Himachal Pradesh and some more parts of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh, today, the 25th June,” the IMD said in its latest weather update.
It added the conditions were favourable for a further advance of the monsoon into more parts of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Haryana, and Punjab, and the remaining parts of Jammu and Kashmir, during the next two days.
The sharp pick-up in the rains has also narrowed the deficit, which till June 25 stood at around 28 per cent.
Till June 16, the monsoon was almost 47 per cent less than the normal. It means in less than 10 days, the rains have recovered 19 per cent of the deficit.