Monsoon Sets In Over Kerala Seven Days Later Than Average

Meteorologists predicted that the northwestern movement of Cyclone Biparjoy would help the monsoon's arrival in Kerala, but they also said that the cyclone would weaken the monsoon.

New Delhi: The southwest monsoon has set in over mainland India, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) declared on the afternoon of Thursday, June 8.

Having advanced into all of Lakshadweep and most of Kerala and southern Tamil Nadu, the IMD said the monsoon is expected to cover the rest of Kerala, some more parts of Tamil Nadu, as well as parts of Karnataka and the northeast in the next 2 days.

The southwest monsoon normally reaches Kerala on June 1 and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in mid-May.

Meteorologists had earlier predicted that the movement of a developing cyclone further away from the mainland would help the delayed monsoon arrive in Kerala by June 9.

Cyclone Biparjoy is expected to move west across the Arabian Sea towards Oman.

But other meteorologists also said the cyclone would “steal” moisture away from the monsoon, a Hindu report said.

“Looking at the location of the likely cyclonic storm, there are chances that the monsoon might make the onset around 8-9 June but it will not be a loud or strong one. (The cyclone) will be detrimental to the progress of the monsoon and its strengthening,” the president of Skymet G.P. Sharma told the newspaper.

Cyclone Biparjoy developing over the Arabian Sea on the afternoon of June 8. Photo: Screenshot from windy.com

The IMD said in May this year that the development of El Nino conditions this year would result in below-normal rainfall in parts of central, western and northwestern India.

Roxy Mathew Koll, a climate scientist at the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, told The Wire in May that El Nino conditions tend to delay and weaken the monsoon and cause a cyclone to develop close to its onset.

El Nino, also known as the El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO), is a phenomenon where the direction and intensity of ocean currents and winds in the Pacific switch every three to seven years.