Southwest monsoon advancing in Karnataka

June 2nd, 2008 - 9:32 pm ICT by IANS  

Bangalore, June 2 (IANS) For the fourth year in a row, the southwest monsoon is expected to be near normal in Karnataka, raising hopes of bountiful rains across the state, higher farm production and relief to millions of farmers in the Cauvery basin. “The southwest monsoon, which entered coastal Karnataka Sunday and covered parts of south interior areas early Monday, is advancing towards north Karnataka. Rain-bearing clouds are on course. The entire state will be covered in the next three-four days,” state meteorological department director A. Muthuchami told IANS Monday.

He said analysis of the available data indicated that the monsoon would be steady across Karnataka for a fortnight. The state agriculture department has, therefore, been alerted to advise the farmers to take advantage of the situation and start sowing operations during that period, Muthuchami added.

Pre-monsoon showers from March to May this year brought 20 cm rains, 30 percent more than the average 11.5 cm. The weather conditions, thus, have been favourable for the monsoon to set in 24-48 hours before the normal date of June 3-4. The entire state would be covered by monsooon clouds by June 5-6 as against June 8-10, the weather office said.

Early rainfall is induced by upper air circulation - some 7.6 km above sea level in the southeast Arabian Sea, Muthuchami explained, adding that the monsoon clouds would move towards north karnataka areas in the next 24 hours.

After covering entire Kerala by late Sunday, monsoon clouds have gathered momentum in the coastal districts of Karnataka due to strong wind patterns and are moving towards northern and eastern direction at a speed of 45-55 kmph, the weather office said.

In the 24-36 hours from Monday afternoon, heavy to very heavy rains are likely along the coast and south interior areas of Karnataka, it forecast.

The average rainfall across Karnataka is expected to be about 80-100 cm during this monsoon season. As in the case of normal monsoon, coastal areas will record about 300 cm, south interior areas 74 cm and north interior areas 49 cm.

“Based on our weather forecast, we have alerted the state agriculture department to advice farmers to prepare their fields for sowing operations over the week. As monsoon progresses and remains steady across the state over the next fortnight, farmers are advised to take advantage of the favourable weather conditions for agricultural operations,” Muthuchami noted.

After prolonged drought for three consecutive years since 2001, Karnataka has been blessed with normal southwest monsoon rains since 2005, enabling the state to maintain its food grain production between 10-12 million tonnes a year though it has the second largest drought-prone areas in the country after Rajasthan.

“Bangalore will also have a good amount of rainfall this year. Being 1,000 metres above sea level, it has the advantage of getting rain-inducing clouds from southwest and northeast monsoon from June to December. The average rainfall is expected to be between 80-90 cm,” Muthuchami added.

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