Monday, May 31, 2010

Summer’s end

Summer’s over; at least in Kerala. The South West Monsoon officially arrived in Kerala today, holding out the promise of several months of slushy roads; damp clothes, mouldy leather shoes and life-giving rain.
Though it has been raining in this part of the world for the past week or so, it’s only this morning that India’s Met Office declared the onset of the monsoon over Kerala. Three criteria need to be met for the Met Office to agree that the monsoon has arrived in Kerala — its first port of call on the Indian mainland.
I won’t try explaining those criteria here — I’ll leave that to the weathermen. Quite simply, the Met Office declares the monsoon has set in over Kerala if there has been widespread rainfall of at least 2.5 mm across Kerala for a couple of days and if winds — the Westerlies — start blowing up to heights of around 4 kilometres and at specific strengths.
And that’s what was confirmed today. Which is why the Indian Met Office says:
“Southwest monsoon has further advanced into most parts of south Arabian Sea, entire Kerala, south Tamilnadu and some more parts of southwest Bay of Bengal today the 31st May 2010…


Conditions are favourable for further advance monsoon into some parts of central Arabian Sea, coastal & south interior Karnataka and Goa during next 48 hours. Further advance of monsoon will depend upon the intensity and direction of movement of the low pressure area currently lying over central Arabian Sea at 0830 hours IST of today.”
If the weathermen are to be believed, this will be a ‘normal’ monsoon year with bountiful rains. However, that is something that only time can confirm. For the moment, India will be watching the monsoon’s progress with unbridled hope.

7 comments:

Mee said...

Its some feeling the first rains ( irrespective the Met dept:))

Pune, panvel and Bombay got rains yday (albeit a passing shower)- but even that created a surge of hope and a desire to believe the Met Dept's prediction of 'normal rains' this year. Keeping fingers crossed for the sake of the country.

Sankar Radhakrishnan said...

@Mee: True, the first rains are something else. What beats me is that despite all the progress we have made, India's economy still seems so dependent on the monsoons. And with weather patterns changing so much and water stress not too far away, we really will need to pull up our socks on managing water.

Prabhu said...

we too got some showers here over the last 48hours- a welcome relief from the sweltering heat of May.

Kerala is a good place to be in June...

Prabhu

Mee said...

O absolutely no doubt on that! Mercifully been working with a couple of water based ngo's, have become quite informed on water harvesting, seen rain shadow brown lands transform to green belts with technology, perseverance and science.Progress is happening but rather s-lo-w. Not sure if our farmers can continue to be rain dependent forever given the drastic changes taking place in our environment...need a gazillion public private partnerships to turn the tide in earnest

Sankar Radhakrishnan said...

@Mee: Did you know that Kerala has 42-odd rivers, and the monsoons and yet is a water stressed states. There's tonnes of run-off and with paved or concreted space increasing, things look bad. Unless the water harvesting bit takes off big time.

Mee said...

sad sad sad...cherrapunjee is no different- the so called high rainfall locale! does not have enuff drinking water for its own people living thr:(

talking abt apathy- on my return trip frm Cal recently in one narrow lane there was a water hose gushing water ( u know the ones they use to water the plants on the median of a road?) a mini flood had happened! I got off the car- got into the spewing muck and turned off the source. passer bys stared and for once their stare did not bother me...

so when will water conservation take place in earnest- brings tears of frustration in me.

Sankar Radhakrishnan said...

@Mee: Bravo :)