Re-determination of normal dates of onset of southwest monsoon over India
Keywords:Monsoon onset, Advance, Normal dates, Pentad rainfall
The onset of southwest monsoon over various parts of the country can be early, timely or late as compared to a set of normal dates. Advance of monsoon could be either rapid or slow or sometimes there could be prolonged stagnation in the advance of monsoon. The timing of the monsoon onset is of vital importance to the agricultural sector and water replenishment. The climatological normal dates of onset which are being used at present are based on a much older data set (1901-1940) obtained from 149 stations. In this study, the climatology of the summer monsoon onset over different parts of India is derived using the mean pentad precipitation data of 569 stations spread all over the country, from 1971-2000. It has been observed that the revised dates of onset of monsoon over the Andaman Sea is 20 May, over Kerala is 1 June, over the northeastern parts is 5 June and the date of monsoon covering the entire country is 15 July (same as the existing dates). Considerable differences between the existing and the re-determined dates of onset are noticed over parts of south peninsula and western parts of central and adjoining northwest India where the re-determined dates are advanced by 1 to 3 days and delayed by 10 to 15 days respectively with respect to the existing normal dates of arrival of monsoon. The Standard Deviation of the re-determined normal dates ranges between 7 to 14 days with larger values over the northwest and west central parts and interior peninsular India.
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