The monsoon covered the entire country on Saturday, six days earlier than normal and ahead of India Meteorological Department’s (IMD) own calculations, as it ran through the remaining parts of Gujarat and Rajasthan.

The crucial trough that anchors it across the plains of North India will now be termed the monsoon trough which, on Saturday, linked Bikaner with Alwar, Hardoi, Daltonganj and Shantiniketan before dipping into the North-East Bay of Bengal.

Monsoon trough forms

From now, the monsoon over North-West and Central India will wax and wane with the fluctuating strength of the monsoon trough. To the South-West, the offshore trough along the West Coast lay extended from South Gujarat but stopped short at North Maharashtra on Saturday, less than half the distance to Kerala, an alignment which would have rendered it full-blown and signalled active monsoon conditions in the region.

Bothersome features

The monsoon has also had to factor in two bothersome features in the form of a cyclonic circulation over the central parts of Rajasthan and a trough that ran down from there to the West-Central Arabian Sea. A third circulation lay over North-East Madhya Pradesh.

These features should disappear one after the other as the monsoon comes into on its own, which is expected to happen with the formation of a low-pressure area, the first of the season, over the next two days. The IMD has already forecast normal rainfall for July.

Low-pressure area in 2 days

The IMD had hinted at the possibility on Friday itself, and a day a later, a preparatory circulation had formed over Bangladesh. It would settle as a ‘low’ over the Odisha coast from where it t will anchor heavy rainfall progressively over East, North-East and Central India.

Flooding rain may accrue over parts of the region as successive ‘low’s may form and move across Central India towards Gujarat over the next 10 days. At one point, intensified ‘low’s (likely monsoon depressions) may pop up over Odisha and Gujarat at two ends driving the monsoon to a high over Central India.

Wet to very wet five days

The outlook for the next five days is as follows: fairly widespread to widespread rainfall with isolated thunderstorms, and lightning over Central India (Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Vidarbha). Fairly widespread to widespread rainfall, thunderstorms and lightning to continue over Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha and the plains of Bengal.

Widespread rainfall with thunderstorms and lightning over Konkan, Goa, Coastal Karnataka and Kerala; scattered to fairly widespread over Gujarat, Madhya Maharashtra and interior Karnataka. Isolated heavy rainfall over Gujarat, Konkan, Goa, Coastal Karnataka, Gujarat, Konkan, Goa, Coastal Karnataka and Kerala.

To stay active until July 9

Isolated heavy rainfall is likely over Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand until Wednesday (July 6); over West Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh on Wednesday; East Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and East Uttarakhand on Tuesday and Wednesday; and Himachal Pradesh on Wednesday.

An extended outlook for July 7-9 indicated widespread light to moderate rainfall will continue over many parts of the West coast, Central India, Lakshadweep and the Andaman & Nicobar Islands. Scattered to fairly widespread rainfall is likely over many parts of Peninsular India, North-West, East and North-East India, hills of West Bengal and Sikkim.