Face it, the monsoon has been delayed this year

The possible onset of the southwest monsoon is now June 6; only after the next 48 hours will the final date for the season be announced

By Vivek Mishra
Published: Wednesday 05 June 2019
Representational picture. Photo: Anupam Chakravartty

It is official. The Southwest Monsoon for 2019 has been delayed with the India Meteorological Department (IMD) predicting it might arrive on June 6. Private weather forecast agency Skymet has forecast the onset of the monsoon to be on June 7.

Sunita Devi, senior scientist from the IMD, said the official forecaster was unable to deduce a date for the arrival of the monsoon as officials were unable to see the strengthening of deep southern winds in the Arabian Sea.

The only thing that is certain is that the monsoon will not begin before June 8. “It may possible that in the next 48 hours, the rains might reach the coast of southern Kerala,” she said.

That is bad news for farmers. This year, India has already experienced a shortfall of 24 per cent in pre-monsoon precipitation (March 1 to May 29). Skymet Vice-President Mahesh Palawat said the sowing of seeds could be delayed by up to 10 days in Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, southern parts of Karnataka, and Maharashtra.

And that is precisely what is happening. As they anticipate rain, many agrarian states have issued an advisory warning for farmers to delay the sowing of seeds.

Tormented by heatwaves and droughts, the farmers of Maharashtra have been appealed for an advisory to postpone the sowing of seeds. The Director of Agriculture, Punjab, Sutantar Kumar, has specified that farmers are being requested to save water. Awareness is being raised to avoid sowing grains and cotton along with similar crops.

“The monsoon usually reaches Bihar by June 15. In a situation like this, an advisory will be issued for the farmers only after the monsoon reaches Kerala. The monsoons are delayed and updates are being given regularly. By next week, an advisory will have been issued,” said Sudhir Kumar, principal secretary, Bihar Agriculture Department.

The IMD had speculated that by June 4, the north-western, central as well as southern peninsular regions might experience excruciating heatwaves. On June 2, eastern Uttar Pradesh experienced thunder and a light drizzle.

The IMD has broadcast that due to a western disturbance in the Himalayas, the possibility of an outbreak of a heat wave could be reduced in Delhi, Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. The north-western regions of Maharashtra, including Vidarbha, are currently experiencing highs of over 40 degree Celsius.

Translated by Harshita Alok Sharma 

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