Along with 2015, when the monsoon had raced through the country on the same date, this was the fastest progression of the rain-bearing system since 2013.
In the past 13 years, the monsoon has covered the entire country before June 26 only once — in 2013, when a freak convergence of several weather systems had caused the catastrophic Kedarnath deluge while advancing the monsoon by an all-time record date of June 16.
IMD said the monsoon marched into the remaining parts of Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan on Friday to cover the entire country, 26 days after hitting the Kerala coast. This sets the stage for timely sowing of kharif crops across the country.
“This was one of the smoothest advances of the monsoon in recent years. Usually the monsoon progresses in fits and starts, but this year it did not stall for long at any stage,” said D Sivananda Pai, IMD’s lead monsoon forecaster.
Rain in June so far has been quite good: IMD director
However, with the monsoon trough moving towards the Himalayan foothills, the plains of northwest India, including Delhi-NCR, are not likely to get good rainfall over the next few days.
The monsoon’s smooth advance has led to a rain-surplus over the country in June, with nearly 22% higher than normal rainfall so far.
The monsoon got favourable conditions for its advance right from the onset stage. First, Cyclone Amphun helped the monsoon reach the Andaman & Nicobar Islands in mid-May. Then, Cyclone Nisarga, which formed in the Arabian Sea towards the end of May, helped monsoon’s onset over Kerala on June 1 and other parts of south India and the western coast.
Finally, the formation of a low pressure area over Bay of Bengal which moved west-northwestwards and another cyclonic circulation over central India helped in its quick advance through central and north India. Mrutyunjay Mohapatra, director general of meteorology, IMD, said the formation of a low pressure area over Bay of Bengal which moved west-northwestwards and another cyclonic circulation over central India helped in advance of monsoon.
“The rain so far has been quite good with 31 out of 36 meteorological subdivisions getting normal to excess rainfall during June. This would benefit kharif sowing,” he added.