India's monsoon onset over the southernmost Kerala coast has been delayed by two to three days due to reduced cloud cover caused by a cyclonic circulation in the Arabian Sea, according to weather officials.
Cyclonic Circulation in Arabian Sea Causes Delay in Monsoon Onset
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) had initially anticipated the arrival of monsoon rains over the Kerala coast on June 4, marking a delayed onset compared to the past four years. However, the formation of a cyclonic circulation in the southeast Arabian Sea has resulted in a decrease in cloud cover, pulling moisture away from the Kerala coast and causing the delay in monsoon arrival.
Monsoon's Importance for Economy and Agriculture
The monsoon season plays a crucial role in India's economy, contributing significantly to the country's $3 trillion GDP. It provides approximately 70% of the necessary rainfall required for agricultural activities, including irrigating farms, replenishing reservoirs, and recharging aquifers.
Reduced Cloud Cover Hinders Rainfall in Kerala
The cyclonic circulation in the Arabian Sea has resulted in reduced cloud cover over the Kerala coast. This moisture-pulling effect has hindered the arrival of monsoon rains. However, weather officials remain hopeful that the monsoon will make its way to Kerala within the next two to three days, bringing much-needed relief to farmers.
Relief Expected for Farmers as Monsoon May Arrive Soon
Farmers, whose livelihoods heavily rely on monsoon rainfall, are eagerly anticipating the arrival of the monsoon. The delayed onset could potentially impact the planting of key crops such as rice, cotton, corn, soybean, and sugar cane.
Below Average Rains Forecast for June, Average Rainfall Predicted for Season
The India Meteorological Department has forecast below-average rains for the month of June, with expectations of the monsoon gaining strength in July, August, and September. However, for the entire four-month season, the IMD has predicted average rainfall despite the possibility of an El Nino weather phenomenon.