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Monsoon breaks free from deadlock, again

Vinson Kurian
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The monsoon has managed to break out of the latest brief deadlock, the second after it made a delayed onset.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) said in an update just this afternoon that the western end of the northern limit stayed pinned down to Harnai.

Progress to East

The line of coverage has since made some progress towards the east of the peninsula, bringing more parts of Karnataka, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh under its footprint.

Thus, the monsoon advanced into more parts of Madhya Maharashtra; most parts of Karnataka and Rayalaseema; parts of Telangana and entire Tamil Nadu.

Some parts of coastal Andhra Pradesh, most parts of west central Bay of Bengal and some more parts of northwest Bay of Bengal too have been brought under coverage.

The northern limit passed through Harnai, Bidar, Mehbubnagar, Baptala and Gangtok.

The IMD said conditions are also favourable for its further advance into remaining parts of central Arabian Sea, Konkan and interior Karnataka during the next three days.

More parts of Madhya Maharashtra, Marathwada, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Orissa and entire Bay of Bengal would also see monsoon set in during this period.

Super typhoon

During the 24 hours ending this morning, the monsoon has been vigorous over sub-Himalayan West Bengal and Sikkim and active over Assam, Meghalaya and Kerala.

Meanwhile, Typhoon Guchol, the latest monsoon tormentor raging in the northwest Pacific, is now expected to intensify as a super typhoon as early as tomorrow.

It has already ratcheted up to category-3 strength on the Saffir-Simpson scale that classifies storms to a class-topping category-5 in terms of intensity.

All forecast models now agree that ‘Guchol’ would peak to category-4 strength (super typhoon) by tomorrow.

It is headed for central Japan with capital Tokyo in its line of sight, but would have weakened into category-2 by Monday when it strikes the metropolis or neigbourhood, forecasts suggest.

‘Guchol’s’ peaking intensity and power means incremental moisture that would normally go to feed the Indian monsoon would be spirited away across the equator into the typhoon.

Bay silenced

The sweep of the flows generated by Guchol’s brute strength would not allow any intervening circulations to drop anchor in the Bay of Bengal and steer the monsoon flows towards east India.

Such a system could hopefully develop only on weakening of the typhoon; in fact one such is expected to shape early next week.

And that is the earliest window of opportunity for the monsoon to entrench presence in the northwest Bay of Bengal and onward into the east and east-central regions of India.

Till such time, the monsoon is expected to be present along the west coast and the northeast of India where it has already made its onset.

vinson.kurian@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on June 16, 2012)
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