The southwest monsoon hit the Andaman and Nicobar Islands on Sunday, three days before it was expected to, PTI reported. The Indian Meteorological Department, however, said it was too early to say if another parts of southern India would get monsoon rains ahead of schedule.
“In view of the strengthening and deepening of southwesterly winds, persistent cloudiness and rainfall, southwest monsoon has advanced into some parts of southeast Bay of Bengal, Nicobar Islands, entire south Andaman Sea and parts of north Andaman Sea today,” the IMD said. The monsoon was expected to reach the islands on May 17, and is expected in Kerala by June 1.
Private weather forecaster Skymet said that rain will be intense in the region over the next 24 hours. Fishermen were advised to stay away from the sea during this time.
In April, the IMD had said that this year’s monsoon would be normal. The chances of a normal monsoon looks brighter with the IMD predicting lower chances of El Nino developing in the coming months.
“There are more chances of Pacific conditions remaining neutral [in the monsoon period] but uncertainty persists,” D Sivananda Pai, IMD’s lead forecaster had said. “A clearer picture will emerge by next month, when we shall release an updated monsoon forecast.”
The US Climate Prediction Centre is also of a similar view. “Relative to last month, the forecaster consensus reflects slightly lower chances of El Nino [~45%], in part due to the conflicting model guidance and lack of a clear shift toward El Nino in the observational data,” the the agency said in a bulletin.
El Nino is the name given to the climatic changes in the equatorial Pacific region and beyond that often affects the southwest monsoon in India.