The southwesterly monsoon finally arrived over the south coast of Kerala on June 6, five days behind schedule. Meanwhile, temperatures continue to rise across central and northern India.
The late onset of the rains has exacerbated this year’s pre-monsoon heat, leading to a record-breaking heatwave across some parts of the country. New Delhi has endured 10 days of blistering hit that has broken at least one long standing record as temperatures touched 47.8 Celsius.
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The average high at the airport in New Delhi during that spell was 43.2 Celsius with an average low of 28.9 degrees. The only consolation being it was a dry heat so it was possible to seek some relief in the shade.
As for those rains, they have been concentrated across the Western Ghats along with the far northeast of the country and into eastern Bangladesh. Goa recorded 84mm of rain on Tuesday compared with 98mm in Mangal Ore. Meanwhile, Feni in Bangladesh had 91mm in 24 hours.
These are healthy rainfall totals, but the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) have suggested that this monsoon could be the lowest in four years across the country. With El Nino expected to peak around the end of July, rain in northwestern India may be as low as 85 per cent of the normal quota.