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Huge cloud bank lies in wait as monsoon negotiates last mile

VINSON KURIAN THIRUVANANTHAPURAM | Updated on January 24, 2018

The cloud formation resembled a gargantuan tortoise. File Photo   -  The Hindu

Satellite pictures this morning showed a huge bank of cloud that can fill peninsular India waiting over south Arabian Sea as the countdown to monsoon onset continues.

The cloud formation resembled a gargantuan tortoise with its disproportionately small head probing the Comorin region, to the southeast of the Kerala coast.

It is alternatively cloudy and sunny this morning at the monsoon gateway cities of Thiruvananthapuram Kochi and Kozhikode in Kerala with humidity levels of up to 80 per cent.

Slow progress

This was indicative of the painfully slow progress of the monsoon as it approaches the Kerala coast.

The monsoon may have hunkered down thousands of kilometres from south of the equator, but has run into roadblocks as it braced to negotiate the last mile.

India Met Department has this morning reset the onset window by extending it by another day to include Sunday morning.

A trough of low pressure (an elongated area of lower pressure not amounting to a conventional low-pressure area or ‘low’) over the Lakshadweep continues to be under watch.

It is expected to consolidate of ‘low’ where winds blow in an anti-clockwise pattern, strongest to the southwestern flanks to start with.

Wind speeds

This morning, weak southwesterly winds are bouncing off the Kerala coast into the trough. The winds will pick speed in tandem with the lowering the pressure at its core.

Acceleration of the winds blowing towards the Kerala coast will bring in the monsoon, and also help convert the ‘trough’ into a full-fledged ‘low.’

This would provide for ideal onset conditions, but the flip side is that the ‘low’ is predicted to grow in strength over the sea while moving towards the north.

Rains are likely to spread out along the coast in tandem but not much into the interior since entire moisture would go into the ‘low’ located out into the sea.

Global models vary in their outlook for the track for the likely monsoon depression/storm, taking it to the Karachi coast-Persian Gulf -Oman coast for landfall.

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Published on June 04, 2015
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