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.