Monsoon may pick up pace again in next two days: Skymet

New Delhi: The southwest monsoon, which had stalled after reaching Mumbai on June 9, will pick up pace in the next few days, according to private weather forecaster Skymet.

“Weather conditions are steadily becoming favourable for further advance of monsoon over several key areas,” Skymet said. “Monsoon is expected to advance over parts of Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh over the next two days.”

The development is crucial for the kharif crop season, as planting depends on the first rains of the southwest monsoon. The agriculture ministry is yet to release data on area sown under various crops due to the slow progress of the monsoon, with it arriving in Kerala a day ahead of schedule and in northeast India five days ahead of normal on May 31.

The southwest monsoon brings India nearly 70% of the rain it needs to irrigate its fields and replenish reservoirs and aquifers.

The timely arrival of monsoon is crucial for India’s agriculture sector, as about 56% of the total cultivable area and 44% of food production depend on monsoon rainfall. Normal rainfall is essential for maintaining robust crop production, stable food prices, especially for vegetables, and boosting economic growth.

Agriculture contributes about 14% to India’s GDP, underlining the importance of a good monsoon.

As of June 24, the national rainfall deficit was 18%, with variations across the country. East and northeast India were deficient by 16%, while the situation is more worrying in northwest India, which is deficient by 56%. Central India was deficient by 22%, while the southern peninsula had an excess of 10%.

“However, the coming days bring hope of significant improvement,” Skymet said.

What IMD said
The southwest monsoon has advanced into parts of north Arabian Sea, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, southwest Rajasthan and southwestern Uttar Pradesh, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Tuesday.

Recent data from the IMD show that monsoon rainfall is slowing down in June, followed by prolonged heavy rains in September. This shift is accompanied by a rise in temperatures in the monsoon months and an increase in the number of dry days over eastern India.

Regarding the heatwave, the IMD observed no significant change in maximum temperatures over northwest and central India over the next two days, followed by a fall of 2-4 degrees Celsius. Largely no change in maximum temperatures is expected over other regions.

On Monday, maximum temperatures were likely to hover between 40-43 degrees Celsius over Punjab, west Rajasthan, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi, west Rajasthan, west Uttar Pradesh and Bihar and 38-40 degrees Celsius over parts of west Uttar Pradesh and isolated pockets of Saurashtra and Kutch.

On Monday, the maximum temperature in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan was recorded at 45 degrees Celsius.

(With agency input)