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New Delhi: The monsoon is progressing normally and is likely to reach Maharashtra in the next two days, the India Meteorological Department said on Thursday.
The monsoon accounts for around 70% of the country’s annual rainfall and is considered the lifeline of its agriculture-based economy.
Senior IMD scientist R.K. Jenamani said the monsoon touched the Kerala coast on May 29 and covered the south and central Arabian Sea, Kerala, parts of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu and the entire northeast between May 31 and June 7.
“There is no delay in the progress of the monsoon. It is likely to reach Maharashtra in the next two days and cover Mumbai in the subsequent two days,” he told reporters here, dismissing reports that its progress had slowed down.
“We have strong monsoon features – there are strong winds and clouds have started developing – for the next two days,” he added.
The scientist said conditions are favourable for the further advance of monsoon over Goa and some more parts of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu in the next two days.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) had last month said the southwest monsoon will be normal and quantitatively be 103% of the 50-year average of 87 cm rainfall received in the entire season.
It will be the seventh consecutive year when the country would receive normal rainfall during the June-to-September period.
The MeT office has also warned of isolated extremely heavy rainfall (more than 204.5 mm) in Arunachal Pradesh on June 10-11, and Assam and Meghalaya during the next five days.
Jenamani said extremely heavy rainfall is predicted over Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and Meghalaya over the next few days.
Assam was hit by a wave of floods last month. Intense pre-monsoon rain and flooding caused massive damage to the state’s infrastructure, including bridges, roads and railway tracks.
‘No major relief from intense heat till June 15’
The maximum temperature in Delhi-NCR and other parts of northwest India will come down by a few notches over the weekend but no major relief is likely till June 15, the India Meteorological Department said on Thursday.
It said moisture-laden easterly winds will bring significant relief in the region from June 16 onwards.
“There is a heatwave warning for parts of northwest and central India on Thursday but a steep rise in the temperature is not predicted,” Jenamani said.
Northwest and central India is reeling under a heatwave spell since June 2 due to an onslaught of hot and dry westerly winds.
“The ongoing heatwave spell is less intense as compared to those recorded in April-end and May, but the area of impact is almost equal,” he said.
Pre-monsoon activity is predicted over east Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Odisha from June 12, but north Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and north MP will continue to see above normal temperatures till June 15, the IMD official said.
“Parts of northwest India, including Delhi-NCR, may report a marginal relief on June 11-12. There will be cloudy weather over the weekend but rainfall is unlikely, he added.
The temperature will hover between 40 degrees Celsius and 43 degrees Celsius till June 15.
“The region may see thunderstorms and rainfall due to moisture-laden easterly winds June 16 onwards which is expected to bring a significant relief from the heat,” he said.
Asked if the monsoon will reach Delhi-NCR and other parts of northwest India around the usual date, Jenamani said it was too early to say anything.
Last year, the IMD had forecast that the monsoon would arrive in Delhi nearly two weeks before its usual date (June 27).
However, it reached the capital and neighbouring areas only on July 13, making it the most delayed in 19 years.
The monsoon had entered a “break” phase and there was virtually no progress from June 20 to July 8.
(With PTI inputs)