The South-West monsoon has covered the entire country at least a fortnight ahead of schedule in what has been a spectacular and punishing opening spell.

Progress of monsoon so far has been good but it may start weakening from July, a former Director-General of the India Met Department told Business Line.

ABOVE NORMAL

June was expected to turn in above normal rainfall at the end of one of the best productive phases following an onset, he said.

Meanwhile, Climate Prediction Centre of the US National Weather Services suspected that monsoon activity might start to weaken from next week. Rains may relapse to below ‘climatological mean’ (historical normal for a given period) towards end-June and into July.

DRY WINDS

Paresh Nerurkar, a senior commander with Air India, told Business Line from Kolkata on Sunday that he could detect dry westerlies penetrating the North-West as they blew in from across the border.

On Sunday, the IMD too detected a western disturbance with a strong band of westerly winds parked just outside of Rajasthan-Gujarat. US National Centres of Environmental Prediction too showed skies clearing up over Northwest India (especially western parts) later during this week.

A low-pressure area was bringing heavy rains over Central India but could weaken under the onslaught of the dry westerly winds.

MONSOON LULL?

Drawing from experience, he said conditions reminded him of an impending lull in monsoon. ‘Break-monsoon’ is an inevitable recess after a rain pulse runs it course.

Depending on the extent to which it sustains, break-monsoon can decide fate of the early sown crops, especially during the humongous run in the onset phase of monsoon this year.

The former top official of Met Department cited model predictions to indicate that monsoon could hold good over North India until at least June 20 (Thursday).

It might weaken slightly in the first week of July. As of now, one of the regions where it had been weak was Bihar, he added.

vinson.kurian@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on June 16, 2013)
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