The India Meteorological Department on Monday said that a low-pressure area over the south-east Arabian Sea near Lakshadweep has now turned into a depression. It is further likely to intensify into a deep depression later in the day and into a cyclonic storm by Tuesday night, the weather department said in its morning bulletin.
The storm is likely to move north-northwestwards during the next 72 hours, the bulletin said. The depression is currently centred around 200 km west-northwest of Amini Divi in Lakshadweep. The cyclonic circulation could slow down the progress of monsoon over the next few days, PTI reported.
A bulletin on Sunday had said Kerala, Lakshadweep and coastal Karnataka would receive widespread rainfall “with heavy to very heavy falls at isolated places” on Monday.
The IMD has advised fishermen not to go out into the sea, and said wind speeds of 40 km per hour to 50 km per hour, gusting to 60 km per hour, were very likely to prevail over southeast and adjoining Lakshadweep and east-central Arabian Sea, Kerala and Karnataka coasts on Monday.
Thunderstorm accompanied with strong winds and lightning is also likely on Monday in Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, sub-Himalayan West Bengal and Sikkim, Madhya Maharashtra, Coastal Andhra Pradesh and North Interior Karnataka, the IMD said.
A heavy rainfall warning has also been issued for parts of Gujarat over the next few days. “Heavy rain warning has been issued for Saurashtra and Kutch on June 13 and 14 due to the depression in the Arabian Sea which will turn into a severe cyclonic storm,” Jayanta Sarkar, state meteorological director, told PTI. He said the setting of monsoon will be further delayed in Gujarat after the cyclonic storm.
Ports in Gujarat have been asked to display the danger signal number 1.
The cyclone will be some 300 km off the country’s west coast between Tuesday and Wednesday. Monsoon is expected to reach Mumbai and the Konkan regions during this period, unidentified officials told PTI.
The cyclone, while not hitting the Maharashtra coast, is likely to bring strong winds and result in turbulent seas. Monsoon normally reaches Mumbai by June 7, but it takes another 15 days to completely cover the state.
Farmers have been asked not to rush into sowing as the onset of the southwest monsoon has been delayed. After the early rains, the soil needs time to be ready for germination, the state government said.
The warning came two days after the monsoon hit the coast of Kerala with a delay of one week.