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South West Monsoon Arrives Early in Bay of Bengal

The South West Monsoon (SWM) winds arrived in the Bay of Bengal on May 19, 2024, three days earlier than the usual date of May 22. Previously, IMD had forecasted that the SWM would reach Kerala on May 31, a day ahead of the typical start date of June 1.

By Ground report
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South West Monsoon Arrives Early in Bay of Bengal

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The South West Monsoon (SWM) winds reached the Bay of Bengal on May 19, 2024, three days ahead of the usual date of May 22, according to the India Meteorological Department (IMD).

Earlier, the IMD had predicted that the SWM would hit Kerala on May 31, one day earlier than the typical start date of June 1.

The IMD declares the onset of the SWM over the south Bay of Bengal, south Andaman Sea, and Andaman and Nicobar Islands when certain conditions are met. These include stronger westerly winds, the presence of southwesterly winds, increased cloudiness, and continuous rainfall in the region.

On April 15, the IMD had forecast above-normal rainfall for the SWM season due to the expected La Nina phenomenon in the equatorial Pacific Ocean, positive Indian Ocean Dipole conditions, and less snow cover over the northern hemisphere in the spring and winter of 2024.

The IMD expects seasonal rainfall for the SWM to be 106% of the long period average (LPA) of 870 mm. The LPA is the average rainfall during the monsoon season (June-September) from 1971 to 2020.

There is also a 30% chance of having excess rainfall (>110% of the LPA) and only a 10% chance of below-normal or deficient rainfall. Regarding rainfall distribution during the season, the IMD predicts that most regions, except some eastern parts and the Northeast, will receive good rainfall.

The IMD has not issued a cyclone alert yet. Tamil Nadu and Kerala are on red alert for extremely heavy rainfall between May 19 and May 22 due to a cyclonic circulation in south interior Tamil Nadu and an extended low-pressure region from central Maharashtra to the cyclonic circulation.

The last record-breaking La Nina phenomenon, which lasted from 2020 to 2023, led to extended SWM seasons in 2021 and 2022, causing floods in many Indian states.

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