Stage set for monsoon onset over Andamans

New Delhi: The stage is set for the onset of the four-month south-west monsoon season with favourable conditions developing in the Andaman seas for triggering weather systems that bring rains to the country.

"Conditions are favourable for onset of south-west monsoon over south Andaman Sea, Nicobar Islands and adjoining southeast Bay of Bengal during next 24 hours," a weather advisory issued this morning said.

Last week, the weather office had said that the much-awaited seasonal rains are expected to bring showers to the Andaman Sea by May 20. The onset of monsoon over the Andaman Sea sets the stage for the four-month summer rain season that powers the trillion-dollar economy with agriculture as its prime engine of growth.

Following its onset over the Andamans, the rain-bearing system is expected to progress further over the next 10 days and make landfall over Kerala on May 30, two days before its normal onset date in the coastal state.

Last month, the IMD had forecast normal monsoon rains for the season beginning June one.

The normal monsoon forecast is expected to bring cheers to over 235 million farmers who had faced drought last year due to failed monsoon.

A good monsoon could help in sowing of rice, sugarcane, soybean and corn and lead to a rebound in the agricultural output.

A favourable parameter for a normal monsoon was the end of the El Nino event for the year.

Australian Bureau of Meteorology had announced the conclusion of the El Nino event of 2009-10 saying that all the major indicators were now below El Nino thresholds.

The periodic warming of the equatorial to equatorial east Pacific is known to affect adversely the monsoon rains in India. The unusual warming of the Pacific water was one of the factors believed to have affected the monsoon season last year.

Weather scientists now expect the La Nina conditions to develop which are known to be favourable to the Indian monsoon.

La Nina represents the exact reverse of El Nino, when the warming anomaly spreads westwards in the Pacific and has been largely known to favour an Indian monsoon.

Historically, about 40 per cent of El Nino events are immediately followed by a La Nina, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology said.