After a dry month of June, widespread rains give hope for more showers in July


Express press service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Indian Meteorological Department has predicted the monsoon to strengthen in the coming days as weather conditions on the west coast have turned favorable for more showers. The department issued yellow alerts for most districts through July 2 as the state received widespread rainfall on Thursday. The northern districts are forecast to receive widespread rains until July 4th. The Kerala State Disaster Management Authority has issued a lightning strike warning for Friday.

A meteorological expert with the authority says a host of factors contributed to the steady rain. “Strengthening westerly winds, the favorable phase of the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO), the formation of an offshore trough and Typhoon Chaba developing over the western Pacific created favorable conditions for rain,” said said Rajeevan Erikkulam, meteorologist at KSDMA.

Coastal regions and inland parts will receive more rain as the wind strength increases, he said. He warned, however, that the typhoon’s path will be a major determinant of the monsoon’s strengthening. The typhoon could influence the flow of winds. Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) is a group of clouds and its movement will affect the weather pattern. It turned into a favorable phase (Phase 3), albeit a bit weak, over the Bay of Bengal, Rajeevan said.

The northern districts of the state received more rainfall due to the impact of an “offshore trough” from northern Karnataka to southern Gujarat. Changing weather patterns will bring more rainfall to other states than to Kerala, Rajeevan said.

Nonetheless, the widespread rain came as a welcome relief after June turned out to be the driest in 46 years. This year, the state has received less than half the rainfall it receives on average in June, despite an early onset of the monsoon on May 29. Meanwhile, states like Tamil Nadu received over 50% rainfall. States such as Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana received normal rainfall.

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