The southwest (summer) monsoon on Saturday covered the entire country six days before its 'normal' date of July 8, said the India Meteorological Department (IMD) while issuing alerts for enhanced rainfall over Odisha, Gujarat, Konkan and Goa during the next five days, and over other parts, including northwest India, on July 5-6, Trend reports citing The Times of India.
Analysis of past data shows that the monsoon covered the entire country earlier than its usual date only six times in the past 20 years with the earliest one being recorded in 2013 when it covered entire India as early as on June 16, about a month earlier than its then 'normal' date of July 15. The IMD had revised the 'normal' to July 8 in 2020, based on past 50 years data.
"Early or delayed coverage, however, doesn't predict overall status of rainfall, both quantitatively or in terms of spatial distribution, during the season. Records do not show any correlation and therefore different years presented a different picture," said an official.
Past data show that in 2013, the southwest monsoon covered the entire country earlier than its usual date with 'normal' rainfall. In 2015 as well, it had covered the entire country earlier country earlier than reported with 'deficient' rainfall which eventually led to a drought year.
Five out of six early coverages were reported in the past 10 years (2013-2022). In the preceding 10 years (2003-12), there was an instance of only one early coverage in 2005.
On a positive note, early coverage this year will help in speeding up on going sowing operations of kharif crops (paddy, pulses and coarse grains) that could not pick up well in June due to 8% deficit rainfall during the month.
Predicting enhanced rainfall activity in certain parts of the country, the Met department on Saturday noted the possibility of heavy rainfall over central India on July 4-5 and over northwest India on July 5-6.
On the impact front, it predicted "localised flooding of roads, water logging in low lying areas and closure of underpasses mainly in urban areas" in the region of enhanced rainfall activity.