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Feeble signs of Bay of Bengal warming up

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MONSOON UPDATE

Vinson Kurian

Thiruvananthapuram, June 16

Favourable conditions have set in for revival of monsoon three to four days from now even as forecasters have shifted focus to what are feeble but crucial signs of the Bay of Bengal warming up to the occasion.

The cross-equatorial flows are seen strengthening and the east-west shear zone of monsoon turbulence galvanising further after June 21, said Mr J.V. Singh of the National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (NCMRWF).

There are faint signals that a cyclonic circulation would take shape over the Central Bay of Bengal by June 22, but forecasters are not fully convinced if this could be just another indication of shear zone getting accentuated.

Alternative scenario

An almost north-south oriented trough is set to form over the Bay, which, on its own, should bring rains to interior parts of the peninsula not covered by the onset pulse.

An alternate scenario is of the system concentrating as a `low', crucial for driving up rains into Peninsular and Central India. The NCMRWF is keeping a close watch, Mr Singh said.

Satellite pictures already show a cluster of clouds moving north of the Equator to join the monsoon party.

This is a clear sign of the Inter Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) settling into a monsoon-friendly mode.

Moisture content rises

Moisture content in the lower levels of the westerly flows has increased perceptibly and is set to maintain the trend. But the easterlies have failed to advance beyond the southern tip of the peninsula.

They must move further north to set up a classical monsoon, but this is not indicated at least for the present.

Going forward, monsoon components are expected to fall into their slots one by one, Mr Singh said.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated June 17, 2006)
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