Despite media reports claiming that that the southwest monsoon might skip central India and travel straight to the north, Indian Meteorological Department officials said the rains have not been disrupted in any region.

On Friday, a report in The Times of India had quoted an unidentified official from the Met Department as saying that the monsoon seemed to be travelling directly from the south to the north of India, skipping the northern parts of eastern Maharashtra and some parts of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand.

However, representatives at the India Meteorological Department on Friday clarified to Scroll.in that the monsoon will advance as normal.

“We cannot say that the monsoon has been delayed or stopped this year,” said Avinash Tathe, a scientist working with India Meteorological Department in Nagpur. The monsoon had arrived early in Kerala, he said, but then had taken a halt over central India. It will advance over the central region and the rest of the country on schedule, Tathe said.

According to the India Meteorological Department on Friday, the southwest monsoon has advanced across some parts of central and eastern Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Bihar, most parts of Odisha, and the rest of West Bengal. Favourable conditions are developing for the advance of the southwest monsoon further north during the next three to four days.

The monsoon has already reached Karnataka, Goa and the Konkan on the western coast while on the eastern coast it has covered Andra Pradesh, Odisha, parts of Telangana and the North East.

At least five drought-prone districts in Vidarbha in eastern Maharashtra have already received rainfall this year, Tathe added.

Image credit: India Meteorological Department
Image credit: India Meteorological Department

The India Meteorological Department had initially estimated on May 30 that the monsoon would advance at a faster pace than normal. However, the monsoon has remained stationary for three days over central India.

“Cyclone Mora was developing over the Bay of Bengal and circular winds over the central Arabian Sea affected the movement of the monsoon,” Tathe said. “But now the conditions seem favourable for the advancement of the monsoon and within the next three to four days it will reach Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat.”

While the Indian Meteorological Department predicted a forecast of Long Period Average of 98%, Skymet Weather Services, a private company that provides weather forecast, predicted that the Long Period Average will remain below normal at 95%. Long Period Average is a forecast with a time span or a validity period beyond 10 days. Usually, this is issued for a season. The Long Period Average for the southwest monsoon is from June to September.

Image credits: Skymet Weather
Image credits: Skymet Weather

“Central India will have a subdued rainfall this year with irregular showers for a week and a half,” said Mahesh Palawat, the chief meteorologist at Skymet Weather Services. “Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh will receive rainfall in the next six to seven days. Northern states such as Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh will receive the monsoons by June 20 to June 23.”