IMD forecasts an early monsoon arrival: India likely to see above normal monsoon this year

Around May 19, the southwest monsoon is expected to move into the Nicobar islands, the southeast Bay of Bengal, and the south Andaman Sea.

Rather than starting on May 22, which was expected, the southwest monsoon is predicted to arrive in the south Andaman Sea, the Nicobar islands, and certain areas of the southeast Bay of Bengal around May 19.

Around June 1, the monsoon usually enters Kerala. From then on, it advances northward, usually in surges, and covers the entire country around July 15.

In its long-range forecast released on April 15, the IMD stated that the country’s monsoon rainfall from June to September is projected to be “above normal” at 106% of the long period average (LPA) with a model error of +/-5%. The final week of May will bring an updated prediction that is predicted to include probabilistic forecasts for seasonal rainfall over the monsoon core zone (MCZ) and the four uniformly distributed areas of India (northwest, central, south peninsula, and northeast). Around the same time, the IMD will announce the likely monsoon onset date over Kerala.

India received “below-average” cumulative rainfall, 820 mm compared to the long-period average of 868.6 mm in 2023, an El Nino year. Before 2023, India recorded “normal” and “above-normal” rainfall in the monsoon season for four years in a row.

El Nino conditions, periodic warming of surface waters in the central Pacific Ocean — are associated with weaker monsoon winds and drier conditions in India.

Currently, moderate El Nino conditions are prevailing over the equatorial Pacific region.

The latest Monsoon Mission Climate Forecast System (MMCFS) as well as other climate model forecasts indicate that El Nino conditions are likely to weaken further to neutral El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) conditions during the early part of the monsoon season, the weather office said in a statement.