The India Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Monday that cyclone Remal is unlikely to delay the onset of the south-west monsoon over Kerala.

Sticking to its May 31 forecast for the monsoon to set in over Kerala, the IMD said rainfall will be above normal at 106 per cent of the long-period average (LPA) this year. Rainfall in June will be normal, which is 92-108 per cent of long period average (LPA) of 166.9 mm, IMD’s director general M Mohapatra said releasing the second stage forecast of the monsoon.

Cyclone Remal, which developed in the Bay of Bengal during the weekend, made a landfall on the coasts of West Bengal last night and has also hit Bangladesh hard, leading to the loss of lives and property.

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While central and south peninsular India will receive above-normal rainfall (106 per cent of LPA), the north-western part, a key region for the production of kharif crops, will likely receive 108 per cent of the LPA rainfall. The north-eastern part of the country, however, will receive below-normal rainfall at less than 94 per cent of the LPA, the IMD said.

Depending on various factors

The monsoon Core Zone consisting of most of the rainfed agriculture areas in the country is most likely to be above normal (more than 106 per cent of LPA), Mohapatra said. This zone, comprises parts of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, parts of Jharkhand and Telangana.

Speaking about the likely advancement of monsoon, which covered the entire country a week earlier than its normal schedule, Mohapatra said the progress cannot be predicted as it depends on various factors. However, considering that the northern region in June is likely to have above normal temperature and below normal rain, there may be some delay in monsoon to reach those parts.

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As most of the global models are projecting ENSO neutral conditions to develop by the beginning of June and La Nina conditions by the beginning of August, IMD’s D-G did not rule out the possibility of higher rainfall during the August-September period. But, he said even if there is good rains across the country, Odisha and southern parts of states like Jharkhand, West Bengal and Chhattisgarh may face below-normal monsoon rain in the season. But, he also clarified that the models could not predict the monsoon rainfall for some areas in the eastern region, including the coastal Odisha.

Positive IOD by August

The weather bureau expects development of a positive Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD), which means cooler-than-normal Indian Ocean in the East compared to the West, by August as it is currently at ‘neutral’ condition.

Commenting on likely weather in June, Mohapatra said, “Barring a few parts of southern peninsular India, normal to above-normal maximum temperatures are expected in the country in June. The above normal monthly rainfall is most likely over most areas of the south peninsula and adjoining areas of central India and over isolated areas of Northwest and Northeast India.”

He said below-normal rainfall is most likely over many areas of northern and eastern parts of the north-west region, the eastern parts of Central India, some areas of the north-east region and the south-eastern part of the southern Peninsula during June. IMD has predicted below normal temperature in some parts of the southern peninsular during June.